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PCC Providing Welding Training at Mestek

The PCC Mobile Welding Lab allows the college to provide on-site training to employees at companies like Farmville's Mestek, Inc.

FARMVILLE—Through its Customized Training Program, Pitt Community College is utilizing its mobile welding lab to provide welding training and certification to employees of Mestek, Inc.

Within the past two months, PCC welding instructors have provided a pair of 40-hour MIG welding courses to a total of 13 Mestek employees. The most recent round of training began Sept. 12 and will run for two weeks before concluding with a welding certification test for the six employees taking part.

PCC welding instructor Bobby Perkins, who taught the first class at Mestek in August, said the employees he worked with were “ecstatic” about the instruction they received and had learned a lot.

Mestek Plant Manager Emerson Hobgood agreed and said in an e-mail to PCC administrators that he was “very impressed” with Pitt’s mobile welding lab and the instruction his employees had received.

“Every guy participating is almost giddy about what they are learning," he wrote.

Hobgood explained that many of Mestek’s welders had never received formal welding training prior to the instruction they received through PCC.

“They were simply told to practice and learn how to weld this bead or that,” he stated, adding, “I have already had several more employees ask when their turn would be.”

PCC obtained its mobile welding lab through grant funding in 2007 to provide on-site training at a variety of industrial locations and remote areas of eastern North Carolina.

Mestek, Inc., has operated a plant in Farmville since 1975. The company manufactures gas-fired and hydronic unit heaters, rooftop furnaces, and high velocity central air conditioning/heat pump systems. Their products are sold under a variety of familiar brand names, including Trane, Sterling, Dayton, Beacon Morris and Spacepak.