Maine Oxy, a company selling all products associated with the "joining of metal," held its grand opening Thursday for its 13th store in New England at 147 Cross Road. The event was filled with dignitaries, Grasso Tech students and various welding and metal cutting displays.
"I know this will be lucky number 13," Waterford State Rep. Betsy Ritter said. "We wish you the best of success."
First Selectman Dan Steward, Maine Oxy President Dan Guerin, and Ritter all gave speeches. Then the ribbon cutting ceremony took place, with Ritter cutting the metal ribbon with a plasma cutter.
"We have an amublance on call, just in case," Guerin joked.
At the event, vendors showed a variety of tools, from blacksmiths from the New England School of Metalwork to plasma cutters. But the main attraction was a trailer Maine Oxy and the New England School of Metalwork made, which had eight different welding stations built in.
The trailer can be brought to sites, and do training sessions right there, Maine Oxy Business Development Agent Carl Paine said. Also, about 40 students from Grasso Tech and Patch got the chance to weld in the trailer at the event.
"The average age of an American welder is 54," Paine said. "We need more trade workers in the United States."
The store is located in Waterford's "industrial triangle," and is a perfect fit for the area, Steward said. Overall, the store is 7,000 square feet, and should employ 10 people, according to a Maine Oxy release.
The store sells both specialty gases and other welding supplies.