Goose Creek-based W International, which fabricates large-scale metal parts for the U.S. Navy’s next-generation nuclear submarine, is marking the opening of its Center of Excellence to provide training in welding, fitting, forklift and lifting and handling operations.
The training center is at the defense contractor’s manufacturing headquarters at the Charleston International Manufacturing Center in the Bushy Park area of Berkeley County. An opening ceremony is scheduled for Nov 30.
The company plans to offer Navy-accredited welding programs for people who are unemployed or underemployed, with no prior experience necessary. Those enrolled in the program are paid to undergo 240 training hours over an eight-week period. Graduates will receive guaranteed employment with W International.
The new center will also be open to current W International employees who want to enhance their skills for career advancement.
The welding program’s inaugural class has 47 students who will graduate in December. The program has a waiting list of more than 200.
The new facility is in addition to W International’s welding programs offered to students and adults at the county’s Timberland and Cross high schools.
The training center is part of an expansion at the W International campus that also includes cafeterias, where the company’s growing workforce can take a break and grab a snack in an industrial area with few existing dining options. It also includes a new office for supervisors at the 451,000-square-foot, cube-shaped building that’s the centerpiece of W International’s site. The 225-foot-tall building adjacent to the Cooper River is where the biggest military parts are fabricated and then placed on barges to be transported to customers.
W International counts General Dynamics Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding, the main contractors for the Columbia-class submarine, as its top customers.
Community Leaders Celebrate W International’s new Welding Training Program
New Center of Excellence will offer paid welding training to would-be welders.
Read more here: SC defense contractor’s training center giving would-be welders a chance for new career