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Roger Johnson, of Louisa, far right, is shown with 97th District Representative Hubert Collins and Big Sandy Community and Technical College President Dr. Devin Stephenson during a recent visit to the renovated welding lab on the Mayo campus.  The college has completed the first phase of the $1.5 million project.Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) has recently completed the first phase of a $1.5 million renovation of a welding lab on its Mayo campus.

The new lab space features 24 state-of-the-art welding stations with modern equipment and a new ventilation system.

The new space is needed as our program continues to grow as well as the needs of business and industry, said Dr. Devin Stephenson, president of BSCTC. This effort reaffirms our commitment to our students and the business community that we are ready and willing to serve those who need training with high quality, affordable training.

BSCTC, as part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), offers the states lowest tuition. With 30 programs and more than 200 credentials, the college is actively working to connect curriculum to careers.

Its an exciting time for our career education programs, said Kelli Hall, interim dean of career education and workforce development. This renovation allows us to better serve students with modern, industry-leading training.

Roger Johnson, 45, of Louisa, said the new space is phenomenal and allows him to learn in a state-of-the-art environment.

I want to thank the college for their investment in this program and my future, said Johnson, who will graduate in May with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Welding Technology. I have no doubt that what I am learning here will pay off once I graduate and enter the job market.

The welding program at BSCTC offers a diploma as a Combination Welder, as well as certificates in the following areas: Arc Cutter, Arc Welder, American Welding Society (AWS) National Skills Standard I, Gas Welder, Gas Metal Arc Welding, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, Pipeline Welder, Production Line Welder, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Tack Welder and Welder Helper.

For more information, contact Associate Professor John Fitzpatrick at (606) 788-2823 or email