The Bend-La Pine School District says Bend High School has received a $24,510 grant from the American Welding Society to upgrade its welding program and enable students the opportunity to earn an Entry Level Welder certification while still in high school.
“We are really excited since this will allow us to provide our students hands-on experience with the tools and equipment that are being used in the workplace right now – and – create a pipeline for local businesses who desperately need these trade professionals,” instructor Chuck Hill said in a statement.
Central Oregon Daily News recently brought you the story about how students at Mountain View High School are getting the chance to learn welding while becoming professionally certified at the same time.
Bend-La Pine says the funds are provided through the AWS foundation as part of a nationally competitive process “and will allow the school to acquire a multiple-operator SMAW power supply (upgradable to add FCAW processes in the future), a mechanized oxy-fuel torch, another torch and related equipment for carbon-arc gouging, and FCAW equipment for existing GMAW machines.”
The new equipment should be purchased and installed at Bend High School by fall 2023, the district said.
“As the need for skilled welders continues to increase, helping educational facilities at the high school and college level is more important than ever,” said Monica Pfarr, Executive Director of the AWS Foundation. “We are pleased to support the expansion of the Bend High School welding program, their commitment to the welding industry and their dedication to cultivating the next generation of welding technicians and professionals.”