1008 South Main Street • Danville, VA 24541-4004
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Contact: Kimberly Buck, PR & Marketing Director, 434.797.8458


Danville, Va., July 13, 2018 — A new fast-track aluminum welding class at Danville Community College is helping students find good local jobs after just a few weeks of study.

Six students who recently completed the first eight-week Welding GMAW class at DCC have already been hired by Amthor as the company expands its operations in Gretna. They are: Brandon Betterton, Steven Gauldin, Sheila Hughes, Stormy Hendrickson, Anthony Long, and Noah Richardson.

Amthor Operations Manager Ronnie Farmer, who started with the company as a tank welder when it began 25 years ago, teaches the non-credit welding course.

“We had a lot of fun. They applied their lessons really well,” he said of his first class.

Farmer will be teaching a second evening course 5-8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, August 27 – October 17 in DCC’s newly constructed welding facility, which features all new state-of-the-art equipment. Grant funding is available to qualifying students to cover tuition and may also be available for supportive services such as transportation assistance, child care, tool/uniform purchases, résumé assistance, and more.

There are no prerequisites for this course. The ideal student is interested in welding, likes to work with their hands, and wants to learn new skills. Students are encouraged not to miss any classes because of the fast pace of the training and the shortened length of the course.

Students who successfully complete the course will earn a GMAW Certification from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and are encouraged to apply for employment with Amthor International.

While taking the class does not guarantee an interview or employment, “Ronnie knows what Amthor needs and tailors his instruction accordingly,” said Amthor Human Resources Manager Adrienne James, noting that the company recently announced its expansion and has a need to hire more skilled workers, primarily in welding.

“We want to emphasize the importance of this partnership with DCC,” said Amthor Executive Vice President Brian Amthor. “We need skilled workers in order to grow our business. This class helps local workers gain valuable job skills in a short period of time so that we can continue to meet the growing demand for our products nationally and internationally.”

Amthor added, “Ronnie is a great teacher and brings a lot to the table. He is an asset not only to Amthor, but also to the college in sharing his experience.”

The Amthor International Train2Work course teaches Gas Metal Arc Fillet Welding (GMAW). It introduces semi-automatic welding processes with emphasis on practical applications and includes the study of filler wires, fluxes, and gases. At the end of the course, successful completers should be able to:

  • know the differences between the most common welding technologies and the GMAW (MIG) welding process
  • learn the different shielding gases and the common types of wire and their costs
  • identify the most important parts of a MIG/MAG welding machine
  • know how to change the machine parameters and the working and consumable parts of the machine
  • make use of the most common edge preparations and the different weld joint designs
  • know how to weld mild steel with different techniques, positions and joints
  • identify welding defects and know how to correct them
  • make use of different grinding machines
  • know and use the proper safety procedures and equipment

To gain additional skills, students can sign up for the full welding certificate or diploma program at DCC. More information on these programs can be found at

After completion of the course, students are encouraged to apply for employment at Amthor International. Students must go through normal hiring procedures including application, weld test, interview, background check, and drug screening. Amthor International does not guarantee employment or an interview after completing the course. Amthor International is an equal opportunity employer.


For more information on the course, grant funding, or to sign up, contact DCC FastForward Career Coach Chadrick Younger at 434.797.8573 or  


Amthor International, a fourth-generation family-owned company, is the nation’s largest and most diverse manufacturer of tanker trucks. Their products include tanks and accessories for the refined fuel, propane, vacuum and septic, portable restroom, water, well drilling, and construction industries. 100% of Amthor tanks are made in the USA and manufactured in their 86,000-square-foot facility in Gretna, Virginia. Learn more about the training program at


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Pictured, from left, are new Amthor hires Noah Richardson of Java, Sheila Hughes of Halifax, Stormy Hendrickson of Gretna, welding instructor and Amthor Operations Manager Ronnie Farmer, new hires Steven Gauldin of Ringgold and Brandon Betterton of Gretna, and Amthor Executive Vice President Brian Amthor. Not pictured is recent hire Anthony Long.

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