Light a Spark Grant

Light a Spark Grant

MillerĀ®, Bechtel Group Foundation and the AWS Foundation have partnered to establish the Light a Spark Grant. This grant provides a starter package of equipment and supplies to introduce welding into a high school Ag-Ed Program, STEM program, Career and Technical Education Class, or Practical Skills Course. Up to 10 starter packages valued at more than $14,000 each will be awarded!

This application is not intended for secondary or post-secondary schools that have an existing welding program or course. Those institutions should review the Welding Workforce Grant for eligibility.

Check back in January 2025 for more information

The Light a Spark Grant will not be offered in 2024.


Congratulations to 2023 AWS Foundation Light a Spark Grant recipients!

Each high school will receive a starter welding equipment package valued at more than $14,000.

Bell City High School – Bell City, MO
Griggs County Central – Cooperstown, ND
Millennium High School – Goodyear, AZ
Mountain View High School – Lawrenceville, GA
Northern Cass – Hunter, ND
Warren Hills Regional High School – Washington, NJ
Wildwood Middle-High School – Sumterville, FL

Special thanks to our sponsors Miller Electric and the Bechtel Group Foundation.


To be eligible, high schools must have: 

  • Facility space presently available to house equipment, supplies, and conduct training
  • Faculty currently on staff qualified to provide instruction

Secondary or post-secondary schools that have an existing welding program or course are not eligible.

Application Requirements

The application requires:

  • Program Qualification
  • Current Program Description and Expected Outcomes
  • Instructor Qualification
  • Student Impact
  • Commitments of Additional Support
  • Letter of Commitment from School or District
  • Letters of Support (optional but preferred)

Welding Starter Pack

Winning schools will receive a turnkey Miller® welding starter pack valued at more than $14,000!

The pack will include the following items (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

*Awardees will have the option to purchase alternative equipment and supplies worth up to $14,000. If choosing this option, awardee must submit an itemized budget with quotes and receipts subject to approval by the AWS Foundation.

Requirements if Selected

Measures of Success

AWS Foundation will audit the success of the project throughout the term of funding, at intervals determined by AWS Foundation. A summary of progress-to-date with specific, detailed information will be required. A final report, including recap of program implementation and number of students impacted, will be required.

Light a Spark Grant Recipients

Light a Spark Grant Winners

Congratulations to the following high schools that won Miller® welding starter packs!


  • Annandale High School – Annandale, MN
  • Elizabethton High School – Elizabethton, TN
  • Lutheran High Northeast – Norfolk, NE
  • Madison Memorial High School – Madison, WI
  • Mountain Ridge High School – Herriman, UT
  • Otter Valley Union High School – Brandon, VT
  • Paul Duke STEM High School – Norcross, GA
  • River Bluff Education Center – Red Wing, MN
  • Southeast Region CTC – Wahpeton, ND


  • Blairsville-Saltsburg School District - Blair
  • Easton Valley High School - Preston, IA
  • James Hillhouse High School - New Haven, CT
  • Regional Apprenticeship Pathways - Marysville, WA
  • Republic-Michigamme School - Republic, MI
  • Swanville High School - Swanville, MN
  • Union Mine High School - El Dorado, CA
  • Waltrip High School - Houston, TX

See previous grant recipients


For questions, or more information, please contact John Douglass at