Mountainland Technical College’s welding footprint is about to get bigger.
The college will be breaking ground on a new 90,000-square-foot trades and technology building this fall after receiving $34 million from the Utah Legislature last season, MTECH President Clay Christensen announced at a MTECH event Wednesday afternoon. The new building will be adjacent to the existing MTECH building at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi and is projected to open in the fall of 2020.
After the building opens, there will be welding programs both in Lehi and at the Orem campus. “We are looking forward to the expansion and development of that program,” Christensen said at the Wednesday event. With an aging welding workforce and an anticipated shortage of welders on the horizon, students are flocking to MTECH’s welding program, which saw 300 students last year. “We started out with zero students in a big, empty room,” said Gordon Reynolds, the director of the trades program at MTECH.
And those numbers are attracting interest. “MTECH is on the map nationally for welding programs,” Reynolds said. Wednesday’s event celebrated a donation and partnership between Norco Inc., a medical, welding and safety supply company, and Miller, a company that creates welding equipment.
The school raised $1.5 million for the building. The donation will provide new welding equipment from students and also funded two scholarships. The amount of the donation was not available from MTECH on Wednesday.