Hillsborough Community College to Expand Welding Program With Support From JPMorgan Chase Grant

A $250,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase will help expand the Hillsborough Community College welding program and generate a talent pipeline to address the manufacturing skills gap in the region.

November 17, 2014


"We are extremely pleased to form this partnership between HCC and JPMorgan"

According to a report from the Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and CareerSource, there is a growing skills gap in the manufacturing sector, and the demand for welding jobs is especially high with 5,000 new welders needed through 2019 in the state of Florida. Program graduates are expected to earn a starting wage of at least $12 per hour with increases to $16 per hour after a probationary period on the job. Graduates enter a welding career pathway that could lead to a salary of $70,000.

“We are extremely pleased to form this partnership between HCC and JPMorgan,” said Dr. Ken Atwater, HCC president. “This grant will further our ability to meet growing industry demand for career-ready, highly trained welders."

HCC’s welding program, housed at the Ybor City Campus Training Center, prepares individuals to become certified welding technicians through hands-on training and advanced coursework. All students in the program are eligible to earn industry-recognized credentials certified by the American Welding Society that lead directly into employment and are eligible to articulate towards an associate in science degree in Industrial Management.

“I congratulate this type of public-private partnership to build upon HCC’s training initiative that has allowed so many in our community secure higher-wage jobs," said U.S. Representative Kathy Castor. "A recent $350,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce and previous federal grants have also been part of HCC’s job-training expansion over the years, but more needs to be done so our neighbors have this much-needed pipeline into the middle class and fuel an economy that works for all of us.”

"JPMC’s contribution to Hillsborough Community College’s welding program will allow students throughout our community access to a more affordable education and will allow manufacturers the ability to fill job openings with highly skilled workers," said U.S. Representative Dennis Ross. "JPMC understands that domestic manufacturing jobs are the economic drivers for a flourishing economy and I applaud their initiative to enhance the educational opportunities for these individuals."

JPMorgan Chase’s grant will be used to expand the 1,170 clock-hour program by creating an accelerated weekend format. The college will also partner with Metropolitan Ministries, United Way Suncoast and CareerSource to provide comprehensive support services for the unemployed and underemployed to ensure a seamless transition into the college and successful placement into progressive employment opportunities within the welding industry.

“When we help more people be ready with the skills our industries and employers need, we are strengthening our economic prospects and ensuring more individuals can prosper and succeed,” said Dan Borasch, market leader for JPMorgan Chase in Tampa. The banking firm has made a unprecedented global investment in addressing workforce readiness through its New Skills at Work Initiative, aimed at helping more people be ready to meet employer demands and prevent jobs from being left unfilled due to a gap in talent prepared to compete for them.

Hillsborough Community College serves more than 46,000 students annually on campuses on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa and in Brandon, Plant City, Ruskin and Ybor City. Hillsborough Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, please visit hccfl.edu.

Media Contacts

Ashley Carl, Executive Director of Marketing & Public Relations
acarl@hccfl.edu, 813.253.7158

Angela Walters, Strategic Communications Officer
awalters13@hccfl.edu, 813.259.6589

Chris DeManche, Community Relations & Marketing Manager
, 813.259.6567

Ashley Jeffery, Community Relations & Marketing Manager
ajeffery4@hccfl.edu, 813.259.6591

Debbi Ordaz, Public Relations Specialist
dordaz@hccfl.edu, 813.253.7066   

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