For the fifth consecutive year, the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) Foundation is continuing its scholarship program, an initiative that awards tuition assistance funds to young people who are following educational paths that can lead them to careers in the welding and gases distribution industry.

The GAWDA Foundation Scholarship was created in 2011. The funds are available to employees and immediate family members of current GAWDA member companies.

This year, 12 scholarships of $2,000 each will be awarded. Students who have received a scholarship in the past are eligible to reapply for this year’s awards, notes John Ospina, GAWDA executive director.

The deadline for applications is the 15th of February.

The program is funded through GAWDA-member contributions, and the association’s match of those contributions up to a total not to exceed $25,000, doubling the value of members’ contributions overall, according to Ospina.

$94,000 to date

Since 2013, the GAWDA Foundation has awarded a total of 47 scholarships, providing $94,000 in tuition assistance.

Women of Gases and Welding Scholarship

In addition, the Women of Gases and Welding (WGW) Committee of GAWDA has announced the awarding of a scholarship for the first time this year.

The new scholarship is designed to promote the education of women in the gases and welding distribution field, according to WGW Committee Member Judy Miller, of WESCO Gas & Welding Supply, Inc., Prichard, Ala. The group established the program with a $20,000 endowment resulting from three years of fund-raising by committee members and the added contributions of GAWDA member businesses, she said.

Working with the American Welding Society (AWS) Foundation, the WGW Committee now plans to award a $1,000 annual scholarship to a female student who is pursuing a certificate, associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in welding or a related discipline, and who is eager to begin her career in the gases and welding distribution industry.

Applications are being accepted until the 1st of March.