Airgas has expanded its High School Welding Education Initiative as it looks to support students and shape the future welding industry.

The Air Liquide company on Thursday (21st April) said that its 2022 academic year will see 20 returning school and 16 new schools participate in the programme.

Each of the programmes were chosen based on four key factors of a high unmet need at the school; a productive welding programme with the potential to graduate job-ready welders; passionate teachers; and enthusiastic local Airgas champions.

Jay Worley, Airgas Chief Operating Officer, said, “We are excited to expand and include more schools than ever into this year’s class of the Airgas High School Welding Education Initiative.”

“Our associates are very passionate about contributing to and advocating for welding education programmes in their communities. We are grateful to be able to support students, teachers, and schools helping to shape the future of the welding industry.”

Since the start of the high school welding programme in 2012 with a pilot programme in Philadelphia followed by a national expansion in 2018, Airgas has assisted 70 total schools, 2,700 students and more than 350 teachers.

Those who participate in the Airgas programme receive a customised mix of hands-on professional development training or continuing education for welding teachers, welding consumables or equipment, safety PPE, and other resources.