West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC) has received its largest gift to date for the new Industrial Technology Center (ITC), which opens in August for the fall semester. American Electric Power (AEP) has awarded $25,000 to WVNCC to support their new facility that will house and expand their Welding and Petroleum Technology programs.

The money will be used for furniture, fixtures and equipment for the newest building on the Wheeling Campus. The ITC will house WVNCC’s Welding and Petroleum Technology programs, allowing the college to greatly expand both programs. The building will be repurposed from an electrical supply warehouse to an open college lab space with over 20,000-square feet and will include a petroleum technology lab, a welding lab, classrooms, a student lounge and more.

“We are extremely grateful to AEP for their investment in WVNCC, our students and our community,” commented Dr. Vicki Riley, president of WVNCC. “This grant will enable WVNCC to acquire critical program resources for our students and will train a highly skilled workforce that will have a direct impact on a growing industry in our region.”

“AEP Foundation is very proud of the partnership with West Virginia Northern Community College. The work they do is critical to the rapidly changing economic landscape in the Northern Panhandle. This grant will help them to provide a curriculum that is in line with the skills that employers need. We look forward to watching this project come to fruition,” said Chris Beam, president and COO of Appalachian Power.

Currently, the Welding and Petroleum Technology programs at WVNCC are confined by limited space. The renovation will more than double the amount of welding booths available to students to 20 booths, including a handicapped accessible booth. Petroleum Technology classes will now consist of an indoor and outdoor lab that more closely replicates a real world environment. The ITC Building will also include flexible space designed to accommodate new programs as needs are identified by industry.

American Electric Power has 43,000 customers in West Virginia’s northern panhandle. It is part of Appalachian Power, serving 1 million customers in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee. AEP is one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S., delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP also operates 223,000 miles of distribution lines. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning approximately 31,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S.

West Virginia Northern Community College is a two-year comprehensive community college offering transfer degrees and programs in the liberal arts, career-technical,and community and continuing education on three campuses in the Northern Panhandle.



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