James A. Turner, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

James A. Turner, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

In the spirit of entrepreneurship, James A. Turner, Jr. represented the classic American success story. As an ambitious young Charlottean in May of 1941, J.A. Turner, Jr. started a small business ou of the trunk of his car. More than 50 years later, the company was generating annual sales in excess of $100 million and employed nearly 800 individuals at 60 sites in five states.

His company, National Welders Supply Company, was envisioned in the late 1930's while he worked as a traveling salesman for a manufacturing company. Upon his wife's insistence that he spend more time with the family, Turner formed National Welders Supply Company, which grew to be the largest independently owned industrial gas manufacturer/welding supply distributor in the United States, with more tthan 35,000 customers.

Within a couple of years, Turner opened several welding schools to help meet the World War II demand for shipyard welders. In 1945 he built the first acetylene plant in the Carolinas. It was early progressive moves such as this that set the precedent that shaped the company style and spirit.

By way of establishing this scholarship, Mr. Turner shared his philosophy of forward thinking and new ventures. He said, "You have to take advantage of opportunities, and sometimes make your own opportunities." This was another innovative way Mr. Turner sought to identify ways to efficiently and effectively serve the industry.


The purpose for this scholarship is to provide financial assistance to those individuals interested in pursuing a management career in welding store operations or a welding distributorship.


The James A. Turner, Jr. Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a full-time student pursuing a minimum four-year Bachelors of Business Degree that will lead to a management career in welding store operations or a welding distributorship. All applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements.

  • Applicant must be a minimum of eighteen years of age.
  • Applicant must have a minimum high school diploma.
  • Applicant must be employed (at least 10 hours a week) at a welding distributorship at the time this application is submitted.
  • Applicant must submit all required application information.
  • Applicants may reapply; however, persons who have received this award may reapply and may be granted the award for a maximum of four years.

The award will be presented to individuals nationwide. Applicant does not have to be a member of the American Welding Society.

The AWS Foundation does not discriminate by age, race, color, national origin, disability, creed, or gender.


Applicant will be chosen by the Named Scholarship Selection Committee comprised of five (5) members, which have been selected by the National Educational Scholarship Committee.

Selection committee will determine award recipient in February of each year. Recipient will be announced at the National Awards Luncheon.


One $3,500 award will be given annually.

Scholarship Application