AWS Foundation Welder Workforce Grant

AWS Foundation Welder Workforce Grant

The AWS Foundation is committed to securing the future of the welding industry by positively impacting welding education. The Welder Workforce Grant is the latest effort to ensure a skilled workforce is ready when industry calls.  

This year, the AWS Foundation will award up to $300,000 to improve and expand training programs and institutions to increase the number of welding graduates across the country.

There will be two application periods in 2018 to award a total of up to $300,000.  The first application deadline is Monday, April 2, 2018 and the second deadline will be Monday, October 1, 2018.

What Assistance is Available?

Grants up to $25,000 are available for secondary and post-secondary education/training institutions to enhance and improve welding programs resulting in an increase in the number of welding graduates and/or the number of graduates successfully placed in welding or welding-related jobs. 

Funds may be used for:

  • classroom or lab materials and/or supplies
  • facilities improvements
  • capital items
  • computers, computer-based training systems
  • metalworking equipment purchases or upgrades
  • expand teaching staff

Funds cannot be used for:

  • any program or area not related to welding education/training
  • travel expenses
  • student tuition or scholarships
  • textbooks or teaching materials
  • personal protective equipment
  • indirect costs
  • no grants will be given to individuals

Who Can Apply?

  • Secondary schools (High School, Career Tech Center, Etc.) 

  • Post-secondary trade/technical programs or schools

  • Community colleges

  • Universities

Funding Preferences

Preference will be given to:

  • Project proposals that result in a significant increase in the number of welding graduates and number of graduates successfully placed in welding or welding-related jobs. 

  • Commitments of matching support, including monetary support from the institution and/or an outside entity, as well as external in-kind support.

  • SENSE Registered Institutions

  • AWS Educational Institution Members

Welder Workforce Grant Application

The application consists of the following components:

  • Project summary

  • Details of matching support

  • Project description and outcomes

  • Three-years of data on number of welding students, graduates, and placement in welding jobs

  • One page itemized budget (Sample budget)

  • Letter of Commitment from Education/Training Institution

  • Letters of Support (preferred but not required) from local employers, community groups, local AWS section, etc.

Selection Process

The applications will be reviewed by the AWS Foundation Grants Committee and recipients selected during meetings taking place in May and November.  The Grants Committee is comprised of members from the AWS Foundation Board of Trustees and the AWS Board of Directors.

Applicants will be notified of the status of their application in mid-June and mid-December.

Requirements if Selected for an AWS Foundation Grant

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.  Projects will be measured against the original application submitted.  A final report including project summary, numbers of individuals educated/trained, numbers of graduates, numbers successfully employed in a welding job, results from the project, and a final, itemized budget, will be required.  

Release of Funds

A contract must be signed by both AWS Foundation and the grantee.  Funds will be distributed only to the education/training institution.  The release of funds will occur following submission of itemized invoices or quotes that meet the intent of the approved project. 

Reapplication Eligibility

A grant recipient may not apply again for three years following selection.

2017 Grant Recipients

Awards ranging from $18,000 to $25,000

Central LA Technical Community College, Alexandria, LA

Five Keys Charter School, Castaic, CA

Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park, MN

Horry-Georgetown Technical College, Conway, SC

Lenape Technical School, Ford City, PA

Livingston Area Career Center, Pontiac, IL

North Montco Technical Career Center, Lansdale, PA

Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School, Rochester, MA

Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, UT

Surry Community College, Dobson, NC

Whitewater Career Center, Connersville, IN


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