Bend▶️ Bend HS welding students to see program upgrades thanks to grant

▶️ Bend HS welding students to see program upgrades thanks to grant

▶️ Bend HS welding students to see program upgrades thanks to grant

▶️ Bend Senior High welding program to see some upgrades soon

Bend High School welding students came back from winter break this week with an extra present waiting for them. The school received a $24,510 grant from the American Welding Society — a move that can help create a pipeline from high school to a career.

“Our reason for applying for the grant was so that we could upgrade our equipment, buy some new tools, and then with that new equipment we would be in a position to offer the AWS entry level certification for our students,” said Chuck Hill, one of the Bend High Welding Instructors.

“The entry level certification, if a student wants to pursue it, that is a nationally recognized certification that students can go to work and gives the employer some confidence that they have a guy or gal that has minimum skills and knowledge that they can make money for that employer right on the first day,” said Hill.

RELATED: Mountain View HS students certified as professional welders

A freshman student told us she’d rather be welding than what she called regular studies.

“I’d say it’s a more hands-on thing during the day instead of just siting at a desk the whole day,” said Megan Rounds, who is considering a career in welding.

While most of the equipment works, Rounds explained the grant money would go a long way, including fixing holey gloves and scratched face shields.

Hill mentioned this statistic: When four welders leave the industry, only one new welder replaces them. In other words, there’s a welder shortage.

Rounds believes the AWS grant will help the shortage on a local level by encouraging the trade.

“It would definitely give more space and more room and especially would invite other people to come in, make it a bigger class and make more people interested in welding,” said Rounds.

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