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SCCC gets new welding, auto equipment

$113,000 in grants beef up programs

Southwest Colorado Community College recently received two grants that brought new equipment to the automotive and welding programs.

The college got five new welding machines courtesy of a $51,000 grant through the Perkins Act. The program also will receive a new plasma cutting table.

A $62,000 grant through Colorado Amendment 50 went toward the purchase of electricity circuit trainers for students in the automotive program. The grant also will pay for training aids for the air conditioning and diagnostics programs.

“That is really exciting stuff,” automotive instructor Bill Kuik said Tuesday.

Amendment 50, passed in 2008, allows portions of revenue from casino and gaming taxes to go to Colorado community colleges. There are 20 students enrolled in both the welding and automotive programs, SCCC representative Shannon Livick said.

The circuit trainers allow students to become more familiar with automotive electrical systems, as well as diagnose and troubleshoot problems within the circuitry, Kuik said. He was able to bring in 14 training units, as well as two computers, an air conditioning training unit and a fuel systems trainer that have yet to arrive on campus, he said.

“We’re really happy with these,” Kuik said. “It helps students get used to what circuits are all about.”

The welding school’s five new Miller machines are the best in the business, instructor Robert Reed said. They come with cordless foot pedals and digital controls, he said. They will also be bringing in several other machines courtesy of grants, such as a 48-inch brake press and a fabricator, he said.

Also purchased with the grant is a plasma cutting machine and table that has not arrived yet. The machine can be programmed to cut any design out of metal, Reed said.

“We got one of the best tables you can buy,” he said.

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