Short of arson, what could be cooler than playing with fire?
The Rochester Arc + Flame Center, at 125 Fedex Way in Gates, offers something for everyone: from vocational welder training to glass-making and blacksmithing date nights. The center is an 11,000-square-foot training facility designed specifically for welding, glass working and blacksmithing. RocAFC is the only training facility in upstate New York to offer professional and recreational classes in welding, glass working and blacksmithing.
The center features instructors who are experienced professionals and world-renowned artists. Classes are designed for all levels of interest, from curiosity seekers to people desiring professional-level training.
The driving force behind the center is Michael Krupnicki, executive director and founder. He is also the president and owner of Mahany Welding Supply, which has been in existence since 1946. In 2001, Krupnicki had a vision to create welder training classes not only for professional tradesmen but also the general public. Since then, Mahany Welding Supply has trained over 3,000 students through day clinics, night courses, collegiate and vocational classes, and professional welder qualification programs. The success of these welder-training programs prompted Krupnicki to expand his model of training into a separate entity featuring welding and additional flameworking arts.
The center boosts partnerships with local colleges, including Rochester Institute of Technology and Monroe Community College. It also works with the Veterans Outreach Center to provide quarterly welding workshops to local vets.
The space, which has been used by the center since 2012, was developed by Krupnicki and Gallina Development Corp.