GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College and North Greene Unit District No. 3 have teamed up to offer an innovative welding program to meet the needs of students, community members, and local employers.

The program, which is funded through a Career and Technical Education (CTE) grant awarded by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), is designed to support the improvement and innovation of CTE programming throughout Illinois.

This welding program, which is open to high school students and, as of Spring 2021, members of the public as available, is designed to meet the needs of local employers and will allow participants to earn multiple welding certificates and an Associate of Applied Science in Welding.

According to L&C Associate Dean of Adult Education Valorie Harris, the grant, which will fund up to $100,000, began Aug. 1 and runs through Dec. 2021.

“The primary audience is North Green High School students,” Harris said. “It’s exciting that beginning in the Spring 2021 semester at the earliest, classes may also include out-of-school youth and adults from the community, depending on need and the availability of seats. If there aren’t enough seats and there are enough potential students, there’s a possibility that an evening section may be offered.

Cheri Madson of the North Greene Education Foundation recognizes the potential impact for NGUD No. 3 and the local economy.

“The North Greene Educational Foundation wants the welding program at North Greene High School to add a curriculum option that ensures our students are employable locally upon graduation,” Madson said. “The vision for this program is to expand by offering classes that are open to community members as well.”

The welding program, which will eliminate the long commute to L&C’s main campus, isn’t the first time L&C and NGUD No. 3 have partnered. In 2019, a successful Certified Nurse Assisting (CNA) program was established with a CTE Leadership grant.

“We’re excited to build on our strong working relationship with the North Greene School District,” L&C’s Dean of Career Programs Sue Czerwinski said. “This innovative program not only serves high school students but meets the needs of community members and local employers.”

For more information on adult education opportunities at L&C, contact Harris at (618) 468-4100 or vharris@lc.edu or visit www.lc.edu/adulted.

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