Welding equipment maker Lincoln Electric celebrated the grand opening of its welding technology and training center in Cleveland March 21. 

The new 130,000-square-foot facility, located on the company’s headquarters campus, is a $30 million investment that features 166 welding and cutting booths, a virtual reality training lab with 10 Vrtex welding simulators, as well as extensive seminar and welding school classroom space, and a 100-seat auditorium.

“Our new center is a strategic investment to help our customers and educational partners grow using leading solutions,” said Christopher L. Mapes, Lincoln Electric chairman, president and CEO. “Our educational offering and leadership in automation solutions provide meaningful solutions to address the skills gap and capacity constraints facing customers in our industry.”

The grand opening highlighted Lincoln’s expanded educational offerings and the 100th anniversary of its welding school, which according to company officials, is the longest-running welding school in the world.

“We are committed to providing students and customers with the relevant skills and knowledge needed to support career and technical schools, advanced manufacturing and infrastructure growth,” said Jason Scales, Lincoln Electric education business manager. “Our education model will shape the next generation of welders, managers and industry leaders.”

The company is hoping the building will become an American Welding Society-accredited testing facility later this year.