Five Welders Celebrating National Welding Month

April 2024

Test - In honor of National Welding Month this April, we highlight five welders celebrating their role in the industry. 

Since 1996, the American Welding Society has celebrated National Welding Month in April. The month observes the skilled trade of welding and its influence on infrastructure and the economy. The observance also brings awareness to the available career paths in the welding industry. AWS recognizes welding careers are integral to keeping people safe and advancing the quality of life across the globe. However, participation in welding and other skilled trades has seen labor shortages. To celebrate the vast and diverse welding community, National Welding Month 2024 will revolve around this theme: Increase Your Impact. Check out this year’s welders making an impact in their trade. 

Matt “Lucky” Reed

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Pipe welder Matt “Lucky” Reed has a youthful passion and energy for his career. Reed grew up in a small town in Virginia and became interested in welding during high school. Two days after graduating, he began work as a pipe welder in Savannah, Ga. Now, Reed is a specialty combo welder and metal artist who travels and welds worldwide. Reed continuously learns from the flaws in welds and values his hard work. His philosophy behind welding is to be humble and chase progress, not perfection. Reed currently works with SpaceX. To learn more about Reed, listen to his interview on the What It’s Like To Be… podcast episode, “A Welder,” or visit his Instagram profile (@lucky_weldz).

Jason Becker

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Welder and fabricator Jason Becker is the host of the Arc Junkies Podcast (@arcjunkiespodcast), a show dedicated to helping, educating, and inspiring the next generation of welders. Becker is an AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI), Certified Welding Educator (CWE), and Certified Welder Performance Qualifier (WPQ1) with 25 years of experience. Prior to welding, he served as a Marine Corps Veteran from 2001 to 2005 during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He also hosts the podcast Weld Wednesday with AWS and has been a moderator at FABTECH and participant in AWS Section 510 (Central Florida-Orlando) meetings. Becker currently works as a full-time welding consultant, pursuing his goal of connecting with a broader audience of aspiring welders. 

Stephanie Hoffman

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Stephanie Hoffman (@_stephanie_hoffman_) was a pipe welder and welding instructor before joining AWS as program manager of workforce development. Hoffman’s advocacy for welding education has reached a diverse range of welders in various sectors, including construction, manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, art, and more. Her transition from working under a welding hood proves that the welding profession is not a one-way street or dead end. She sees growth and opportunity at each step, taking her industry knowledge for welding education to new heights. Hoffman is currently the northeast customer experience manager at Miller Electric Mfg. LLC. 

Sean Flottmann 

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Sean Flottmann (@dabswellington) is a welder, and the students outreach coordinator/instructor at American Welding Academy. Flottmann is a proponent of the tradesmen and tradeswomen who make life easier in their communities, like ironworkers, millwrights, fabricators, oilfield hands, pipeline welders, and boilermakers. He is also responsible for recruiting and contracting as well as makes welding artwork. Through AWS scholarships and training programs, Flottmann gives welders a platform to promote the trades and benefits of certification. 

Danea Buschkoetter  

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Danea Buschkoetter (@welder_danea) is a welding instructor at Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kans. Buschkoetter is also an AWS Certified Associate Welding Inspector (CAWI). She teaches her students all welding processes and carries out recruiting efforts by posting educational and welding-related content online. With the resources and support from AWS, Buschkoetter continues to stay current with the latest advancements in welding technology for her students.