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August 2020

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AWS Foundation Awards Grants to Five Schools

The American Welding Society (AWS) has announced five recipients of the Spring 2020 Welder Workforce Grant, awarded through the AWS Foundation. Each school was presented with a reward of up to $25,000 to recognize their commitment to improving the welding industry through education.

The recipients are Airport Community Schools, Carlton, MI; Chippewa Falls High School, Chippewa Falls, WI; Paso Robles High School, Paso Robles, CA; Somerset Community College, Somerset, KY; and Ida High School, Ida, MI (Detroit Section Grant).

"The AWS Foundation is dedicated to building the welding workforce by providing grant funding to secondary and post-secondary welder training facilities that seek to enhance and improve their welding education programs," said a spokesperson. "Needs vary among the grant recipients, but all acknowledge that the funds will help improve the quality and functionality of their welding programs."

Chase Dowler, Welding Instructor at Airport Community Schools, indicated the money awarded would be used to help fund the addition of a CNC plasma table and metal processing equipment. Chippewa Falls High School will use the funds to increase and enhance its welding equipment and capacity of existing laboratory space to support the full completion of the AWS SENSE Level 1 Certificate Program.

While each school agrees that they applied for the grant to expand their welding equipment and tools, they also recognize what the funding could do for the future of their students.

"I applied for this grant because I want to connect students to the welding industry that might otherwise dismiss this as a viable pathway for life," said Justin Pickard, Agriculture Department Chairman at Paso Robles High School. "I want to reach out to our community, targeting populations of students that are under-represented in our high school program and offer them a way to get into welding with a low impact/virtual experience."

Elaine Kohrman, Director of Grants at Somerset Community College, has similar sentiments. She said that there are multiple job opportunities for students who complete the welding program within the region and that the grant will help meet the needs of the local industry and make welding education more accessible and affordable for students.

For more information contact:

American Welding Society

8669 NW 36 Street, #130

Miami, FL 33166-6672

800-443-9353 / 305-443-9353

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