SPRINGFIELD, MO (01/18/18) - Sparks are hitting the ground on the new 21,600 square feet Workforce Training Center facility at Ozarks Technical Community College.

“It’s hot, it’s dirty, and not a lot of people want to do this anymore. But there are a lot of rewards," says welding instructor Brian Towry. "If you come in right now and get five years experience there’s nothing you can’t do and nowhere you can’t go.”

Towry says the facility is more efficient to the students needs. Right now, a 20 week welding program is going on where students are taking 34 credit hours in one semester to obtain their goals of being welders.

“Whenever you get here they are willing to help you and guide you into getting the steps you need to help get that job right after you graduate," says senior welding student Presleigh Doke.

And being the only girl in the program Doke says the new facility allows her and her male classmates the ability to learn what they need to.

This new building allows OTC to end its leases where their welding programs used to be held. And this is going to help save the college around $180,000 a year.

The cost of the facility was $2.65 million. And with the amount of money OTC will be saving, the college will pay off the building in about 15 years.

Towry says the need for welders is crucial, right now "because we have several guys that are retiring, the baby boomers, and nobody wanting to do this work.”

Making this accelerated program more in need to the Ozarks.

Facts on the new facility:

  • Building will house 14 welding booths and institutional storage

  • The 20-week welding program will be the main tenant of the welding lab with other welding classes using the facility as time allows

  • Replaces the Tindle Mills garage, which had served as institutional storage along with another building that was deconstructed for the re-routing of Central Street

  • The facility will store everything from custodial supplies and ice melt to furniture and information technology equipment