Franklin County Tech receives state grant to upgrade welding equipment

The school plans to purchase a new precision punching machine and first-ever robotic welding arms

MONTAGUE, Mass. (WWLP)- Most of the welding equipment at the Franklin County Technical School is at least 20 years old.

The state is providing $495,000 to purchase new equipment for the school’s welding and metal fabrication program.

“You really have to go beyond just setting up machines,” said Rick Martin Superintendent of Franklin County Technical School. “You have to learn how to program, how to read blue prints.”

This new equipment will include a new precision punching machine, and first-ever robotic welding arms.

About 50 Franklin County Tech students spend part of their school day at the welding and fabrication shop. The new state of the art equipment will help better prepare them for the workforce.

The school will also add 1,000 square feet of space to accomodate the new equipment.

“It would just be nice to gain that extra space and really start expanding into some of the equipment that’s specialty in the industry,” said Jesse Edwards, Welding Instructor at Franklin County Tech.

“Having that expansion, its going to be a whole different world, more opportunities, more time for learning, and get much more experience, “said Sam Trudeau, Junior at Franklin County Tech.

The state is also providing an 80 thousand dollar grant to help fund a manufacturing night class offered to adults at Franklin County Tech.