The Airgas High School Welding Education Initiative broadens Scope to encompass 65 schools for the Class of 2024

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Since 2018, the Airgas High School Welding Education Initiative has aided 117 schools, over 8,100 welding students, and nearly 560 instructors nationwide.

For the 2024 academic year, Airgas, a subsidiary of Air Liquide, will welcome 65 schools into its High School Welding Education Initiative, expanding the program’s reach to help students nationwide prepare for careers in welding, engineering, and technical fields. This year, 31 returning schools and 34 new schools from 29 states have been chosen to participate, selected based on criteria such as high unmet need, productive welding programs, dedicated teachers, and local Airgas advocates.

Participating schools receive tailored professional development training or continuing education for welding teachers, in collaboration with Airgas associates. Additionally, Airgas provides welding consumables, equipment, safety gear, and other resources to support the growth of welding programs in these schools.

Since its inception, the Airgas High School Welding Education Initiative has supported numerous schools, benefiting over 8,100 welding students and nearly 560 instructors. Approximately 1,000 students have secured jobs directly after graduating from programs supported by Airgas donations.

The American Welding Society (AWS) projects a demand for 360,000 new welding professionals by 2027, with an average of 90,000 welding jobs to be filled annually between 2023-2027. Airgas expresses gratitude for the additional support provided by equipment and safety gear manufacturers such as Hypertherm®, Lincoln Electric®, Miller®, and 3M™ to schools participating in this year’s program.

Jay Worley, Chief Operating Officer of Airgas, stated, “Our goal is to enable and empower students in these 65 deserving programs to fulfill their potential in a welding career. We are excited to collaborate with dedicated schools and teachers in this year’s program, with equipment and PPE manufacturers offering further support. Together, we can prepare job-ready welding program graduates and contribute to the communities we serve.”

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