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Mine Repair Shop Funds Welding Scholarships

Mining Repair Specialists recently donated $42,000 to fund welding scholarships at Southern WV Community & Technical College. Shown from left, are Southern President, Dr. Pamela L. Alderman, Ronnie Barnette, Diana Barnette, and Southern Chief Executive Officer, Rita Roberson.

MOUNT GAY, WV – A local mine repair shop is investing in education.

Ronnie and Diana Barnett, of Mining Repair Specialists, recently donated $42,000 to the Southern Foundation to support three Associate Degree scholarships for welding students at Southern WV Community & Technical College. Each scholarship will sponsor a student from Man, a student from Logan, and a student from Chapmanville for the next two years.

MRS was established in 1987. The donation is to provide educational support for future generations in our area. “This will allow the best and brightest in our region to remain here in our little slice of heaven,” Ronnie Barnett said. “We are proud to sponsor these scholarships to secure a bright future for our industry and our way of life,” Diana Barnett said.

The Welding Technology Program at Southern prepares graduates to enter the field. The program educates the graduate in the selection of the correct equipment; selection of filler metals; pre, intermediate, and post-heat treatment of welded metals; and proper weld techniques.

The program stresses industry-wide safety procedures and trains the student to read weld symbols and detailed drawings.  The Welding Technology Program provides students with a solid foundation that will enable them to achieve American Welding Society Certification in such areas as Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Gas Metal Arc Welding, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, and Flux-Core Arc Welding.

Skills sets in pipe welding, welding in mining, and plant maintenance are available.  The full Welding Technology Program is available on the Williamson Campus. The Boone/Lincoln, Logan, and Wyoming/McDowell campuses offer the general education/program support courses only.

If you are interested in applying for the scholarships, you can contact Rita Roberson, Chief Development Officer on the Logan campus at (304) 896-7425 or

If you would like more information on the program, visit