GAWDA leaders announced the awarding of 11 $2,000 scholarships in May at the association’s annual spring conference. Since the scholarship programme was first introduced in 2013, the organisation has awarded a total of $116,000 in scholarships.

GAWDA First Past President Bill Visintainer, of Atlas Welding Supply Inc., in Tuscaloosa, Ala., announced the names of the 2017 recipients as:

Dakota Akins of Katy, Texas, who will be attending Texas Welding School & Tech

Kyle Blommer of St. Cloud, Minn., who plans to study at the University of Minnesota

Douglas Bolinger of Pierceton, Ind., who is attending Ferris State University

Andrew Colston of Fremont, Ohio, who is attending Capital University in the fall

McKenzie Colston of Fremont, Ohio, who is matriculating to Xavier University

Carrie Cota of Roundup, Mont., who will be going to Rocky Mountain College

Zach Poticny of Tuscaloosa, Ala., who plans to attend University of Alabama

Joshua Shubert of Oakwood, Ga., who plans studies at Brenau University

Stuart Thorburn of Richmond, Ky., whose studies will take him to Bluegrass Community &Tech College

Kami Tuohy of Meridian, Idaho, who plans to study at the College of Western Idaho;

Brianna Wukawitz, of Cottage Grove, Minn., who will study at University of Minnesota.

teamwork concept

Association Executive Director John Ospina, said, “GAWDA is very pleased to present these tuition awards again this year. The 11 recipients are promising young students, and our membership wholeheartedly supports their interest in studies they can later apply in the welding and gases industry.”

“Our association and our members view this programme as an essential part of recruiting and retaining a dedicated work force of quality, knowledgeable individuals, and in continuing to attract young people of promise into our industry,” Ospina continued.

The generosity of GAWDA member businesses supports the scholarship programme. This year, contributors were: This year, contributors were: Airweld, Inc., Arc3 Gases Inc., Atlas Welding Supply, AWISCO, Central McGowan, Coastal Welding Supply Inc., CPV Manufacturing, CryoVation, Dale Oxygen, EXOCOR, Holston Gases, ILMO Products, Keen Compressed Gas Company, Linde, Luxfer Gas Cylinders, Mississippi Welders Supply Company, O.E. Meyer Company, Oxygen Service Company, Taylor-Wharton, Vern Lewis Welding Supply, Inc., Wayne Oxygen Company, WDPG Insurance Program, WISCO.

To date, a total of 261 individuals have applied for the scholarships, and 58 awards have been granted. The number in 2017 was 11; in 2016, 10; in 2015, 12; in 2014, 14; and in 2013, 11 scholarships were awarded, for a total of 58 tuition-dedicated gifts. To apply for the scholarships, applicants must be an employee or a child of an employee of an active GAWDA member company.