News Item Details

Botetourt Partners with Businesses for New Welding Lab

October 4, 2016

Fincastle, VA – At a joint meeting of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors and School Board, officials from the County, the schools, and the business community praised the partnership that has formed to offer state-of-the-art learning opportunities for the County’s students. The advanced welding lab at the Botetourt Technical Education Center (BTEC) is a nationally accredited lab that can provide the highest level certifications to its students. Open for nine years, the advanced welding lab recently won a state grant and much support from the community in order to more fully train the welders of tomorrow.

“We a truly proud of the program here in Botetourt County,” said Botetourt County Public Schools Superintendent John Busher. “When a student graduates from the welding program and goes into the workforce, we know that that student is one of the best welders starting out in the country.”

The advanced welding lab has three overarching goals: building an applicant pool of superior welders for area businesses, enhancing partnerships with community industries, and providing the foundation for adult education opportunities. During the development of the lab, the driving force in achieving these goals has been the Botetourt County Education Foundation. The success of the Education Foundation in this endeavor is evident with the partnerships formed with Altec Industries, Arkay Packaging, Dynax America, Gala Industries, Roanoke Cement, Tread Corporation, and other community institutions.

“This opportunity was the perfect confluence of the desire of students for welding education and the needs of industry in the region,” said Brian Price, Maintenance and Facilities Manager for Altec and a member of the   Education Foundation. “This was a chance for the Foundation, Altec, and other business partners to support the community in order to fill a distinct need for our local industries.”

Throughout this process, it has been evident that Botetourt County is forging new ground with the advanced welding lab. By bringing in support from the state in the form of the Governor’s Competition for Talent Solutions Grant and support from the community, the County is able to offer a world-class technical education to its students.

“We have built strong partnerships in Botetourt that are supporting every part of the community,” said County Administrator Gary Larrowe. “The private sector, the schools, and the government have all worked together to give something special to our students and our future workforce.”

As needs arise in both the education and business sectors, the County will continue to look for innovative partnerships like those that have supported the advanced welding lab.

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For more information, contact

Cody Sexton, County Administrator’s Office

(540) 928-2010