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Hubbard Attends AACC Summit

May 10, 2018

American Association of Community College Summit attendees, including Martha Hubbard of Tompkins Cortland Community College
American Association of Community College Summit attendees, inclduing Martha Hubbard of Tompkins Cortland Community College

Director of Corporate and Community Partnerships Martha Hubbard recently was selected to attend the American Association of Community Colleges “Exploring Beyond the Booth” Summit in Cleveland, Ohio. The conference, held at Lincoln Electric’s Welding Technology and Training Center, showcased the $30 million dollar investment Lincoln has made in a state of the art training facility.  It also highlighted another way that education and industry can be successful partners in helping a community prosper.

"We believe that we can be a catalyst," said Christopher L. Mapes, Lincoln Electric's president and chief executive officer, of its effort to help in alleviate the mismatch between qualified welders and the many openings that are going unfilled. "We believe that we can be viewed as a thought leader relative to the success in addressing that issue."

The current and projected shortage of welders led Lincoln to move into a “train the trainer” model with partners in community colleges across the country.  Hubbard toured the facility, seeing firsthand the impressive result of the company’s partnership with education. “While we may not have local companies that can invest millions in a training center, this is a model for us to consider locally,” said Hubbard. “Facing local skill gap challenges in technical areas is needed, but small, rural community colleges face budgetary challenges that make it difficult for us to create centers like this.”    

Tompkins Cortland Community College President Orinthia Montague agrees. “We want to assist our local companies in meeting skill gaps,” she said. “We are exploring one such partnership in healthcare, and I encourage local employers who have gaps in technical areas to reach out to Martha if they have interest in a partnership. Private investment will be critical to addressing technical training needs.”