Chambersburg welcomes new welding training center

By John Irwin

Posted Aug 24, 2017 at 4:15 PM

Franklin County is now home to the world’s first global welding and training center and certification school, sending trained professionals all over the globe.

The Franklin County Area Development Corporation and Phenomenal Industries Inc. hosted a ribbon cutting for the Welding Training Center on Thursday morning in Greene Township.

“We are very excited to be here, it’s been a very long journey,” said Stefan Takac president of Phenomenal Industries, which started in 1985 in Czechoslovakia. “When we were making the decision where to locate the facility, we had proposals from many other states, but we picked this location because we have many friends here and it’s in the center of an industrial hub,” said Takac. “I really think that our facility on the east coast is in a phenomenal location.”

The new 10,500-square-foot state-of-the-art facility features a 40-seat classroom for lectures and instructor-driven learning as well as 20 welding booths that will provide hands-on learning for the students as well as the tools and environment for craftsman to succeed.

Since its inception, the Slovakian-based corporation has been dedicated to consistently providing custom welding training programs, qualification testing and providing skilled laborers worldwide.

Since the groundbreaking in July 2016, the facility on Opportunity Avenue in the Cumberland Valley business park has grown to be a “phenomenal building,” according to L. Michael Ross, president of the FCADC.

“We have an economy here in Franklin County that is growing, and we are fortunate that we still make things in our part of the world,” Ross said. “We have companies here in Franklin County such as Volvo Equipment, Manitowoc Crane Group, JLG, Olympic Steel, Bri-Mar Manufacturing, CAM Superline and Johnson Controls. There is a conglomerate of manufacturing facilities here in Franklin County and the area and the one need that is consistent among all of them is that they are all looking for welders.”

According to Ross, the project had its “genesis” about three years ago when a group from Manitowoc came to him and asked that the FCADC think about developing a welding training center.

“The short story is, we are here today addressing that need and we are very excited about the success of this operation,” Ross added.

Contact John Irwin at jirwin@therecordherald.com or at 717-762-2151.