Miami, FL, January 5, 2021: The American Welding Society congratulates nine recipients of the fall 2020 Welding Workforce Grant, awarded through the AWS Foundation. Each school was presented with an award of up to $25,000 to improve the quality and training capacity of their welding programs to support the needs of local industries. The recipients are Aiken Technical College – Aiken, SC; Crowder College Advanced Training and Technology Center – Joplin, MO; Kankakee Area Career Center – Bourbonnais, IL; Kansas City Kansas Community College – Kansas City, KS; Mifflin County Academy of Science and Technology – Lewistown, PA; Mount Pleasant High School – Columbia, TN; Texarkana College – Texarkana, TX; Waubonsee Community College – Sugar Grove, IL; and York County School of Technology – York, PA.

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. Each school submitted a proposal detailing equipment or facility upgrades that would increase the number of students trained or graduates successfully employed.

“We initially applied for the grant to help get some of the critical testing equipment needed to become an accredited testing facility through AWS,” said Mike McMonigal, Supervisor of Adult Ed and Post-Secondary Education at the Mifflin County Academy of Science and Technology. “We hope that utilizing the grant will get our students and the program the edge it needs to be a leading welding facility within central Pennsylvania.”

Michael Gall, Welding Instructor at Kankakee Area Career Center, said he applied for the grant because of the growing number of students enrolling in welding courses each year.

“The incredible amount of interest [in welding] is holding steady, creating more urgency in our need for newer, more reliable equipment,” Mr. Gall said. “Suffice it to say, our welding program has grown exponentially more than our budget, pushing us to look outward for financial assistance.”

Since 2017, more than $1,000,000 in Welding Workforce Grants have been awarded.

The American Welding Society (AWS) is a multifaceted, nonprofit organization with a mission to advance the science, technology, and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes worldwide, including brazing, soldering, and thermal spraying. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, and led by a volunteer organization of officers and directors, AWS serves 70,000 members worldwide and is composed of 22 Districts with 250 Sections and Student Chapters.

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(Pictured are Angel Torres and Josh Stoner holding their certificates of completion. The other is Angel and Josh with Taylor Ecenrode, Instructor.)