Enhancements made to Petroleum Technology lab in Graham

by NCTC Public Relations | Aug 11, 2014 <p> </p>

North Central Texas College is in the process of making improvements to its Petroleum Technology labs at the Graham campus.

According to Malea Clarke, the head of the department in Graham, the indoor lab has been relocated which has produced a couple of big benefits.class separator &amp; pumpjack web

"The previous location of the indoor lab was over 100 yards from the outdoor lab," Clarke said. "That created challenges for classes that had assignments in both labs during the same class period. Now the two labs are less than 30 feet apart. This will be much better for conducting classes. The other benefit is that the new indoor lab is air conditioned. I think students will really appreciate this."

The lab was relocated to make room for a new welding program at the campus. The college is expanding its welding program to Graham to accommodate an increase in demand for welders because of Valew's new manufacturing facility in Graham.

"The welding lab needed a high ceiling like the one we had in the old indoor lab"," Clarke said, "We decided to move the Petroleum Technology indoor lab. This required renovating two spaces: the space for the new Petroleum Technology lab and the space for the new welding lab. We were very fortunate to get financial help from the community to fund this project."

Neal Blanton, Executive Director of the Graham Industrial Association & Graham Economic Development Corporation, was instrumental in arranging for funding for the project.

"Over and over again through the years the Graham Community has stepped up whenever a need was identified," Blanton said. "This year with the addition of Valew Trucks to our business community, an immediate need for trained welders was identified. Within just six months the problem was addressed and working through NCTC, the Graham Community raised half-a-million dollars to establish a welding program at NCTC. Along with that came new facilities for the oil and gas program. Our thanks go out to the Graham Community Foundation and its list of donors, the Graham Economic Improvement Corporation, NCTC and the Graham Benevolent Foundation for their continued support for our community."

NCTC Graham Campus Director Kim Birdwell says the new additions to the campus will be a great thing for Graham.

"We are pleased with the renovations and the partnerships that brought two programs to our campus that will benefit our students and the businesses in our community," she said.

The renovations show a major commitment to the Graham community by NCTC.

"Between funds from grants and donations from the community, we've invested over $300,000 in our Petroleum Technology labs in the past year and a half," Clarke said. "We have some great equipment that enables the students to learn hands-on skills that will prepare them for work in the industry. The program offers both a one-year certificate and a two-year Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS), and the coursework involves about 50 percent hands-on learning activities."

Registration is underway for the fall semester, which begins Monday, Aug. 25. For more information, call 940-521-0720 or come by the campus, located at 928 Cherry Street.