Community Invited to Welding Open House


May 5, 2022


Community Invited to Welding Open House

Mineral Area College (MAC) invites the community to attend an Open House at the William Dickerson Welding Technology Center on Thursday, May 19, 2022, from 4-6 pm. The building is located at 3520 College Road on the south side of campus; access College Road just south of the MAC main entrance.

The new 4,800 square-foot building will house welding classes starting in June. It was partially funded through a Workforce Training Initiative which combines a Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) and Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) Tax Credits from the State of Missouri.

The building was named in memory of long-time Lee Mechanical, Inc. employee Bill Dickerson. Ernie and Brenda Gibson, owners of Lee Mechanical, Inc., purchased the NAP Tax Credits which provided funding to complete the building. They chose to name the building in honor of the late Dickerson to recognize his key role in Lee Mechanical’s growth and success.  A dedication ceremony will be held during the Open House.

MAC President Dr. Joe Gilgour says the college is committed to responding to the needs of students and local industry and access to career and technical programs for adult learners is a priority.

“We’re excited to see how our community and local industry benefits from quality welding education in our region,” he said. “This building could not have been built without the Gibsons’ generosity, the willingness of St. Francois County to apply for the CDBG on our behalf, and the State of Missouri for the grant opportunity. We’re thankful to all of them for helping us bring this to our area.”

During the Open House, the community will get to see the facility and learn more about welding training at MAC. The first 20-week course, Principles and Applications of Welding Technology, starts on June 6. It is a 504-hour comprehensive program that will train students to weld to nationally-recognized American Welding Society (AWS) standards in the four common processes: Gas Metal Arc Welding, Flux-Cored Arc Welding, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding. The course will also cover foundational welding knowledge and cutting and fabrication.

In addition to the full course, MAC will offer 4-week modules in individual welding processes for students interested in developing a specific skill. Both the full course and 4-week modules are offered as short-term, non-credit classes. Financial assistance may be available for those who qualify. For those unable to attend the Open House, more information can be found at