GAWDA Connection

AWS Foundation Grant Provides Starter Welding Kits to High Schools

The need for welders has reached a critical point, and the American Welding Society (AWS) Foundation, in partnership with Miller Electric Mfg. LLC, is bringing the welding experience back to high school with the Light a Spark Grant.

“The AWS Foundation is extremely pleased to offer these grants to high schools that do not currently offer a welding program, thus providing hundreds of students the opportunity to experience welding for the first time and consider the possibility of welding as a career,” said Monica Pfarr, AWS Foundation Executive Director.

The Light a Spark Grant is a turnkey package designed to introduce welding into existing secondary or post-secondary Ag-Ed, Career and Technical Education, or Practical Skills Course. Up to seven starter packages valued at more than $14,000 each will be awarded.

Each welding equipment starter pack includes the following (subject to change):

  • MobileArc™ Augmented Reality Welding System
  • Miller Multimatic 220 AC/DC Powersource – ability to perform GTAW, GTAW-P, GMAW, FCAW & SMAW welding processes
  • Miller Spectrum 375 Plasma cutter
  • Oxy-Fuel Cutting Pack; including regulators, cutting & heating tips
  • SMAW, GMAW, & GTAW whips with consumable kit
  • Welding Cart, Arcstation welding table, and safety screens
  • PPE & Hand tools; including welding gloves, jacket, auto darkening helmet, face shield, chipping hammer, wire brush, and more

“Miller is committed to advancing the craft of welding through training and education,” said Justin Blount, Group President, ITW Miller. “We are proud to partner with the AWS Foundation to provide these schools with the equipment and supplies needed to introduce their students to the craft of welding.”

Applications are being accepted now through November 15, 2021. The Light a Spark Grant is not intended for secondary or post-secondary schools with an existing welding program or course.

You can learn more at



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