Stark State College awarded $537,500 state grant, supports new welding facility to train in-demand workforce | Stark State College | North Canton, Ohio
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Stark State College awarded $537,500 state grant, supports new welding facility to train in-demand workforce

(North Canton, OH – Feb. 21, 2024) – The Ohio Department of Higher Education awarded a $537,500 Super RAPIDS grant to Stark State College to support the College’s new Welding and Joining Center.

Grant funds will be used to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for the renovated, 5,824-square-foot space housed next to the College’s Advanced Technology Center.

“There’s a growing need for skilled and certified welders in our community, so we need to increase our welding capacity,” said Dr. Donald Ball, dean of business, engineering and information technologies at Stark State. “This will allow for greater access to training for people who live in Stark County.”

The Super RAPIDS grant program aims to bolster workforce development across the state through education and training initiatives. Stark State will purchase two automated welding units, plasma tables, several welding machines and other required welding equipment with the funds. Students will have the ability to train on the same modern equipment being used in the industry, adequately preparing them for employment following graduation.

“We have a proven track record with the state of Ohio in regard to implementing grant funds toward hands-on equipment and lab-based coursework that improve student skillsets,” said Steve Tornero, department chair of industrial technologies at Stark State. “In this case, these skillsets will prepare our students for various welding certifications, making them highly qualified job candidates in the areas of construction, fabrication, repair and manufacturing, all required in advanced manufacturing facilities here in northeast Ohio.”

With the latest multi-process welding equipment, students will learn a variety of welding techniques, including MIG, Stick, AC and DC TIG, pulsed TIG and air carbon arc gouging. They also will become skilled in digital programming and the use of wireless components commonly used in advance manufacturing.

Work on the new Welding and Joining Center began in 2022, with an estimated completion date of July 2024 and classes expected to begin in August. The College opened a 17-booth Welding and Joining Center at Stark State College Akron in fall 2022.

For more information about Stark State’s welding program, visit

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