Praxair has announced the company’s global giving program will fund more than $200,000 in scholarships over the next five years for the American Welding Society (AWS) and SkillsUSA.

The scholarships will support the education and hands-on training of student welders in the United States, a skillset that is vital to the growth of the metal fabrication industry and many of Praxair’s customers.

Through its Praxair Distribution, Inc. (PDI) subsidiary, the company is a leading supplier of welding, cutting, specialty and medical gases and welding-related equipment and supplies. With its retail stores, cylinder-filling plants, distribution warehouses and online channels, PDI serves over 500,000 customers and is recognised for its expertise in enhanced productivity solutions.

“We are extremely proud to support both the AWS and SkillsUSA scholarship programs,” said John Panikar, president of Praxair Distribution, Inc. “Working together with these organisations will help Praxair provide targeted support to welding and metal fabrication students as they prepare for rewarding careers in the industries and communities we serve.”

AWS, an organisation working to advance the science, technology and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes worldwide, is actively engaged with its local student communities and offers them a variety of scholarship opportunities.

“We are delighted to partner with Praxair on this important initiative that will assist in alleviating the welder shortage in our communities by providing scholarships for welding training,” said Sam Gentry, executive director, AWS Foundation.

SkillsUSA, a nationwide group of students, instructors and industry partners dedicated to ensuring America has a skilled workforce, will award scholarships to high school and collegiate level medal winners in three welding categories at the SkillsUSA Championships held each June. 

“SkillsUSA is excited about our partnership with Praxair,” said Tim Lawrence, SkillsUSA executive director. “Our mission of empowering students to become world class workers and leaders will be enhanced and energised by the support Praxair is providing through these scholarships.”