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GCC holds groundbreaking on new skilled trades facility

August 23, 2019

Gogebic Community College (GCC) held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, Aug. 9, at the new skilled trades facility on Midland Avenue in Ironwood, Mich. This new facility will help to improve and increase the skilled trades offerings in this region. 

To kick off the project, GCC engaged the services of U.P. Engineers and Architects (UPEA) to design and bid out the remodel of this building. In June, the Board of Trustees approved and awarded the construction bid for the renovation of this facility to Nasi Construction of Hurley. The grant funds for the remodel were secured through the State of Michigan thanks to the efforts of Former State Senator, Tom Casperson. The GCC Foundation also contributed to the purchase of the building along with the college receiving a grant from the American Welding Society. 

“With this new facility, we will strengthen our partnerships with our regional businesses and industry through increased training,” GCC president Dr. George McNulty said.

The GCC welding lab will be housed in this new facility when the building opens in January of 2020. 

“When this welding shop is done, it will be the most technologically advanced training facility in the Upper Midwest,” business services vice president Erik Guenard said. 

“I think it’s going to be nothing short of an amazing experience for students and workforce students coming into the building to receive training for their future or current position,” GCC welding Instructor Gary Gouin said. 

On average, about half of the GCC students study in the occupational fields, and the building of this facility helps the college continue to focus on workforce development. 

“We’ll house our new workforce development director in this building, and we're going to continue to put skilled trades training programs in this building for it to be a hub for all skilled trades training at Gogebic Community College,” Guenard said.  

The construction crews are still hard at work finishing classrooms and work areas inside the facility. The completion date is set for Dec. 31. The plan is for the facility to open its doors to students in January of 2020.

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