Expanded weld shop, advanced manufacturing facility officially opens at MITT

Originally posted: June 20, 2022

Expanded weld shop, advanced manufacturing facility officially opens at MITT

Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology has completed the expansion of its weld shop and advanced manufacturing facility, and officially opened its doors on Monday, June 20, 2022.

The opening of the new addition is the largest expansion at MITT in over 20 years and features a 6,500 square feet addition to the south wing of its Henlow campus.

Ray Karasevich, President and CEO of MITT noted his thank to the Province of Manitoba for their $4.5 million investment into this project.

“Welding is one of the most in-demand trades in Manitoba, and this project will play a pivotal role in training welders in the province with hands-on skill development,” said Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration Minister, Jon Reyes. “The funding is part of the Manitoba government’s investment in the province’s education and training strategy that ensures the future workforce has more opportunities to learn and develop the skills they need to land in-demand jobs in Manitoba.”

The project includes a 4,500 square-foot expansion of the existing weld shop with 36 new welding stations and additional space serving as flex use for numerous programs to learn aspects of advanced manufacturing. The facility will serve secondary and post-secondary programs, as well as industry.

“We are so pleased to open this expansion to the weld shop,” said Ray Karasevich, president and CEO, MITT. “We hear from industry every week that there is a critical shortage of welders in the labour force and know that this space will make room for more students at the high school and post-secondary levels as well as short-term training specifically for industry.”

The opening of the Weld Shop honours the memory of Larry Panagapko. Panagapko, who passed away in 2019, had been with MITT for more than 30 years as a welding instructor. His passion for the skilled trade and vision for the Weld Shop expansion was a driver behind the project’s advancement. His legacy will forever be a part of the expansion with a commemorative plaque, standing as a permanent fixture in the new facility. 

Lynne Schulz, Industrial Welding Instructor at MITT emphasized that, “Welding cannot be taught by textbook or virtual means alone – you need to get your hands on actual equipment to learn this skill properly. Having the expanded space allows us to train more students in a fully equipped environment.”

As part of the grand opening on Monday, MITT signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Canadian Welding Bureau Group (CWB) to further enhance their ability to support the Manitoba welding industry. The MOU designates MITT as a training institute for CWB programming, making MITT a top-tier training facility for CWB in Manitoba. MITT will also be the centralized location for all CWB Education supervisor and inspector courses in Manitoba.

To learn more about MITT’s Industrial Welding program, please visit the program’s information page.

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