S.M.A.R.T. partners with LBWCC

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 30, 2006

Special to The Journal

Representatives from the Stamped Metal American Research Technology (SMART) facility in Luverne toured the welding facilities at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College MacArthur Campus on Nov. 16.

The tour and presentation on Total Welding Management was conducted by Jackie Woods, welding instructor for LBWCC MacArthur Campus.

The tour was part of a new partnership that is forming between LBWCC and SMART.

SMART hopes to train its employees by using classes offered by LBWCC MacArthur Campus and the LBWCC Luverne Center.

&#8220We've heard so many good things about the facilities here in Opp, so we wanted to come down and see them in person,” Dee Sands, General Manager at the SMART Plant in Luverne, said. &#8220We were very impressed with what we saw, and we're hoping to build a strong relationship for the future.”

According to Woods, the goal of the meeting was to form a &#8220marriage” between SMART and LBWCC that would be beneficial for both.

&#8220They wanted to come here to see the facilities and to meet me and discuss what we could do for each other,” Woods said. &#8220I'm very excited about where this could go and about the opportunity we have to expand our programs while helping them as well.”

In August, LBWCC entered into a contract with SMART to provide pre-employment assessment testing as well as applied skills training in electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics and welding at the Luverne Center.

SMART is a tier one supplier for Hyundai in Alabama and currently employees over 700 people at the plant in Luverne.

The plant was a $26 million project and is approximately 500,000 square feet. It has been open since June 2004.