Dominion Foundation grants WVU Parkersburg $50,000 to support welding simulation program

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Parkersburg, W.Va. Parkersburg, W.Va. 8/16/12 – West Virginia University at Parkersburg and West Virginia Northern Community College have each received $50,000 from the Dominion Foundation to provide more training associated with the development of Marcellus Shale resources. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Robert Orndorff of Dominion Power and Community and Technical College System (CTCS) of West Virginia Chancellor James Skidmore presented the funds today, Aug. 16 at the CTCS meeting in Charleston.

“Workforce development and having skilled and trained workers positioned to take advantage of opportunities in our state is critical to our state’s economic vitality and future,” said Jeffrey Barger, VP Pipeline Operations for Dominion Transmission, a subsidiary of Richmond Virginia-based Dominion Resources Services. “We take great pleasure in forming strategic partnerships with colleges such as West Virginia Northern Community College and WVU Parkersburg to help our schools provide West Virginians with the skills they need to compete in a highly competitive work environment.”

WVU Parkersburg will install a Lincoln VRTEX 350 Virtual Welding Simulator to allow students to learn and practice advanced welding processes in a safe environment. The computer-based training system provides students experience with a variety of joint configurations and materials. The simulator also greatly reduces the materials, energy consumption, and associated costs of the program.

“We are so pleased to have the importance of effectiveness and efficient alternatives in welding recognized,” said WVU Parkersburg president Marie Foster Gnage, Ph.D. “It is wonderful to soon have a virtual means of teaching welding to our students. We are always looking for ways to reinforce what students are learning in the classroom using innovative technology.”

“The development of the Marcellus Shale, along with other economic development efforts, hinge on increasing the number of technically proficient college graduates in West Virginia,” said Jim Skidmore, Chancellor of the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia. “These generous gifts by the Dominion Foundation provide a marketable-classroom experience for students, while keeping a community and technical college education affordable and accessible.”

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