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WVNCC named accredited welding testing facility

WHEELING – West Virginia Northern Community College is now an American Welding Society accredited test facility, becoming only the third accredited testing site in West Virginia and one of 178 centers in the United States.

An AWS certification is considered to have the highest welding standards for its industry and ensures welders are well-versed in essential functions and competencies across a multitude of welding disciplines.

Welders must pass different tests under observation by WVNCC’s accredited inspector on procedures used in the structural steel, petroleum pipelines, sheet metal and chemical refinery welding industries.

“We have a top-notch welding program at WVNCC, but to be able to offer AWS Certification now takes our program to the next level,” commented WVNCC President Daniel Mosser. “Anyone getting their certification at Northern now has the opportunity to expand their knowledge, enhance their career and raise their earning potential.”

WVNCC Welding Program Director Brandy Killeen recently became a certified welding inspector, which is a requirement to be an AWS Testing Center. WVNCC also had to implement a quality assurance program to become an AWS accredited testing facility. Then WVNCC had to pass an onsite audit by an AWS inspector, who observed Killeen conducting a mock inspection of a welding test on a welder.

“We are not only able to test our students but also anyone in the community who is perhaps already in the field but wants to get certified to expand their possibilities,” added Killeen. “Once a person is an AWS certified welder, they can use this certification for a job in West Virginia or anywhere in the United States since the standards are recognized nationally.”

In addition to individuals, WVNCC is working with companies to test and certify all their employees.

“We now have the space and capabilities to work with small to large size companies who want to offer this unique opportunity to any or all of their employees,” said Killeen.

AWS certification tests will take place in WVNCC’s Industrial Technology Center, which opened in August 2018. The ITC includes 20 welding booths, a petroleum technology lab, classrooms, student lounge and more.

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