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Great Falls College MSU’s welding test facility has been accredited again through the American Welding Society as an Accredited Test Facility and is one of only two test centers in Montana with this designation, with Flathead Valley Community College being the other.

The Accredited Test Facility program establishes minimum requirements for test facilities, their personnel and equipment to qualify for accreditation to test and qualify welders, utilizing Great Falls College's state-of-the-art welding shop as its testing facility.

The college already qualifies many welders for area companies, and Sims is hopeful to add even more businesses that make use of Great Falls College’s facility. 

“Entrusting welder certification to (Accredited Test Facility) specialists makes good business sense for contractors and fabricators,” according to the American Welding Society web page. “Companies are increasingly realizing the shortcomings of self-qualification and switching to AWS Accredited Test Facilities to test and qualify their welders. ATFs help them to save money, improve productivity, and reduce liability by entrusting their welder certification to the experts.”


“This is a win-win for Great Falls College and Montana,” said Joel Sims, trades division and welding test center director at Great Falls College. “We are able to help test and qualify welders at an affordable cost in one of the best welding centers in the region. This means the college is earning some income and area businesses can save money and time by having their welders qualified locally.”

Joel Sims
Welding Test Center Director