With 1,000 welders approaching retirement age in the Finger Lakes region, Mahany Welding Supply President and Monroe Community College alumnus Michael Krupnicki is igniting interest in this high demand field. In addition to helping launch a certificate program, he recently established the Krupnicki Family Scholarship for Excellence in Welding with the Monroe Community College Foundation to help students cover the costs of certification at MCC.
His vision for the near future is to open a larger facility and help position MCC as a top educator of welders for the nation.
Krupnicki, a member of the MCC class of 1985, partnered with MCC six years ago to offer an elective welding course for machining, HVAC/R, and automotive students. Two years later, in response to workforce demand, he helped develop MCC’s welding and fabrication certificate program that prepares to earn industry credentials. Students enrolled in the program take classes at the Rochester Arc and Flame Center in Gates, N.Y., the only training facility in upstate New York to offer professional and recreational classes in welding, glass working and blacksmithing.
According to Krupnicki, the community has faced a shortage of welders for the past five years and the demand is growing. Some jobs go unfilled locally. Many graduates of MCC’s certificate program land good-paying jobs before they complete the program.
The scholarship will award two students $3,600 each for each semester, covering half of the program cost. The inaugural scholarships will be awarded in the fall 2013 semester.
According to Todd Oldham, MCC vice president of economic development and innovative workforce services, the scholarship will open many doors for job seekers and put them on the path to good-paying, high-demand careers. MCC is grateful for his generosity and his longstanding support of the institution.