Moraine Valley Community College students in the Welding and Health Sciences programs are working with the most current equipment thanks to grants that funded the items in each area.

A $25,000 grant from the American Welding Society helped purchase a machine that assists with pipe welding used in lab work. Although the Welding Department will often do their own maintenance on equipment, some of it is older than the current technology.

Moraine Valley Community College earned a grant to fund new welding equipment for students.

“This gives us more options for classes, opens the lab a little bit, let’s more students use equipment without sharing. It’s a huge help,” said Dave Viar, Moraine Valley instructor and program coordinator of Welding. “Any equipment we can get new or that we know students need to be trained on, we try to get as fast as possible. The student benefit is gigantic, and it’s current skills employers look for.”

The department is keeping its older pipe welding technology for other projects. This was the second time the department applied for the grant. “We were in competition with quite a few schools, so it’s really good we got it,” Viar added.

The $1.5 million Pipeline for the Advancement of the Healthcare Workforce grant from the Illinois Community College Board helped purchase a fully digital X-ray machine for the Health Sciences Department. The grant also funded items for other programs as well. This equipment is more in line with what students will use in the radiology field and at clinical sites, and replaces an old unit that could not be repaired, said Beth Kielbasinski, Moraine Valley department chair of Health Sciences and program coordinator of Radiology.

This grant ultimately aims to address the shortage of workers in the health care industry, especially after the pandemic.

“The students are super excited. This will give them the opportunity for more practice during lab class. For the past year, we have only had one X-ray unit available for 12 students per lab class. Now, they can split up between the machines and get more positioning practice,” Kielbasinski said. “They will rotate weekly to gain experience with both X-ray units we have.”


For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or