Bend Senior HS receives $24K grant to upgrade welding program, offer path to certification

Bend High School has been awarded a large grant from the American Welding Society. Learn more here.

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Bend Senior High School has been awarded a $24,510 grant from the American Welding Society to upgrade its welding program and give students the opportunity to earn an entry-level, Level 1 welder certification while still in high school.

“We are really excited, since this will allow us to provide our students hands-on experience with the tools and equipment that are being used in the workplace right now, and create a pipeline for local businesses who desperately need these trade professionals,” instructor Chuck Hill said.

The funds were provided through the AWS Foundation as part of a nationally competitive process and will allow the school to acquire a multiple-operator SMAW (shielded metal arc welding) power supply (upgradable to add FCAW (flux-colored arc welding) processes in the future), a mechanized oxy-fuel torch, another torch and related equipment for carbon-arc gouging, and FCAW equipment for existing GMAW (gas metal arc welding) machines.

The new equipment should be purchased and installed by fall 2023, officials said in Monday’s announcement.

“As the need for skilled welders continues to increase, helping educational facilities at the high school and college level is more important than ever,” said Monica Pfarr, executive director of the AWS Foundation.  “We are pleased to support the expansion of the Bend High School welding program, their commitment to the welding industry and their dedication to cultivating the next generation of welding technicians and professionals.”


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