Belleville Area College Attracts Attention of Area Businesses

The Belleville Area College has campuses in Belleville and Granite City, both of which offer excellent welder training. The center has two full-time and over 25 part-time instructors on call to deliver courses 24 hours a day. This is in addition to the college’s associate degree in welding technology and industrial welding programs, and Certified Welding Inspector courses.

The BAC constantly listens to advisors from local industry and from within the welding industry to ensure that it is teaching courses in the latest technology with the most advanced equipment. That’s why they decided to include microprocessor-based welding equipment.

The BAC welding shop is packed with equipment, largely Miller, supplied by CeeKay welding distributors through their rep, Paul Thompson. Garner Kimbrell, welding program coordinator for BAC, says “We know these microprocessor machines are being sold in the area and we wanted to be the first to start using them. We already have six Maxtron 450s with 60M microprocessor feeders at both campuses and we’ll be getting more.” He finds that his students, after overcoming initial qualms, pick up the microprocessor technology quite quickly and easily. He has a plan to get all the instructors trained on the programming side. “We had Ford Motor Company welders coming through for training,” he says. “They’re finding that it is taking away a lot of the set-up required with conventional machines. It’s going to make it easier on the welder and it’s going to improve quality of welding.”

Garner and the BAC like the Miller machines in particular because, as Garner puts it, “They’re good machines but the main thing is the maintenance costs. It’s about 3:1 cheaper to maintain the Miller equipment.” In a course of his size, this can be a considerable savings in time.

BAC graduates are in key welding positions throughout the area and all of them are very enthusiastic about the BAC welding courses. Jim Moore, Director of the Granite City BAC Industrial Training Center, explains that the center offers welder training programs to local companies such as Monsanto, Rhone-Poulenc, A O Smith, Nooter and others. “With our new facility and the new equipment we’re using, our company training has increased about 25%,” says Jim Moore. “The company representatives come around and see what we’re offering and within a couple of weeks they send their welders for training.”

Information courtesy of Miller Electric