Tier One player, Praxair, is investing more than $200,000 to tutor and upskill the welders of tomorrow through scholarships and training programmes in the US.

The second year of its Skills PipelineTM workforce development programme will kickstart in July, which Praxair proclaims, “Helps address the need for skilled workers in today’s global economy.”

In Praxair’s initiative, together with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS), over 50 welders will take part in an accelerated one-year curriculum with scholarships offered through Baton Rouge Community College and SOWELA Technical Community College.

The syllabus offers a variety of cutting and welding courses, ranging from shielded metal arc welding to gas tungsten arc welding, along with both mechanised and manual oxyfuel gas cutting.

Dr. Anne Roby, Senior Vice-President at Praxair, explained, “We began this effort to help address the severe shortage of skilled trades needed to support growth in the Gulf Coast. These new welders are already making their mark, working for many employers including Praxair, our customers and other industrial companies in the area.”

In its inception year in 2015, 87 new welders in Louisiana graduated from the inaugural class of the Skills Pipeline programme. By the end of 2016, Praxair will have invested more than $1m in total in welding workforce development through the programme via expansion throughout the US.