⚠ COVID-19 - Official Statement from AWS

Section Toolkit


The AWS Section Toolkit is intended to provide Section Officers with the information and resources needed to support Section activity. 

PLEASE NOTE: The new Section Toolkit is searchable! Simply use Ctrl+F (Command+F for Mac users) to open a search box that can be used to find the resource you are looking for. 

The Section Toolkit will be updated periodically to ensure that content we feel is of value to our Section leadership teams is available. If there is a specific resource you are looking for and cannot find it in the Section Toolkit, please email dgaschler@aws.org

Request Forms

The pages linked below will direct you to the Section Request Form and Welding Journal Submission Form.

The Section Request Form is to be used to submit a request to AWS HQ for support. Examples include having an announcement distributed to the members of your Section/District, a website update, a Facebook post, or requesting access to an AWS-provided online meeting account. 

Click here to complete the Section Request Form.

The Welding Journal Submission Form is to be used to report happenings of Section meetings/events as well as to have Section activity considered for publication in an upcoming issue of the Welding Journal.

Click here to complete the Welding Journal Submission Form.

Manuals and Policies

Organizational Manual for Sections, Divisions and International Sections

Guidelines for establishing a new AWS Section, Division or International Section
*Last revised 2/16/2018

AWS Manual of Operations for Sections and Divisions

Need to know how to run your Section? This manual provides all you need to know in a searchable pdf.
*Last revised 5/18/2018

Suggested Duties and Responsibilities for Section Officers and Committee Chairmen

This document outlines the various roles and responsibilities of Section Officers and Committee Chairmen and explains how these positions are filled. A must-read for Sections who want to ensure they are utilizing voluntary leadership in the most effective way. 
*Last revised 12/8/2017

Treasurer's Tutorial & Guidance

These guidelines are designed to supplement the AWS Manual of Operations For Sections and Divisions and bring the best business practices for Sections’ Treasury operations. Each Section should review, analyze and evaluate these guidelines and make necessary changes in its existing operations.

Section Compliance Checklist 

This tool is intended to be used to provide Section Officers with a quick overview of best/required practices for the operation of a healthy and productive Section. Click here to view a webinar that was conducted on September 26th to provide an overview of the checklist and review of the recommended practices. This is suggested viewing for all Section Chairman and Treasurers. 

AWS Whistleblower Policy
This Whistleblower Policy is intended to encourage and enable Employees and others to raise serious concerns internally, so that AWS can address and correct inappropriate conduct and actions.

Publication Purchases and Resell Policies
AWS Sections are entitled to receive a discount on AWS produced publications. It is recommended that the proceeds from selling these publications be used toward the Section’s scholarship fund. The Section discount is 40% off the list price.

  • For the procedure on ordering AWS publications using the Section 40% discount, click here.
  • Section Officers, especially those tasked with the resale of publications by your Section, should be aware of, and understand, the AWS Board-approved resell policies.

Recommended Procedures for Conducting a SkillsUSA Welding Contest - 4th Edition

This publication has been prepared using the experience gained in local, national and international SkillsUSA contests to provide a guide for those wishing to run a SkillsUSA welding skills contest at any level.
*Last revised 2005

Online Meeting Resources

AWS has seen many of our Sections begin to host meetings and events online to ensure Section activity can continue despite limitations on in-person gatherings, and we are grateful for that. An added benefit has been that Sections have become more accessible to members who live outside of the traditional "hubs" of Section activity – a bonus we are excited to experience.

We also understand that many Sections need support to be able to host online meetings/events, and we are eager to provide that support. In an effort to ensure we were aware of Section leaders’ feelings about online meetings and the potential challenges and anticipated needs which would need to be addressed to host effective online experiences, we opened a survey* and asked for all active Section leaders to provide feedback. Thank you to all who contributed. Your feedback has informed the new tools and resources we are making available specifically for the purpose of helping Section leaders host effective online meetings. These new resources – including the ability to request use of an online meeting platform provided by AWS HQ – will be included in the AWS Section Toolkit, which will be updated as resources are improved. 
*You can review a report of the compiled results of the survey by clicking here.

Online Meeting Platforms
AWS HQ wants to ensure our Sections have easy access to online meeting platforms necessary to facilitate effective online meetings/events. 

AWS Sections can request access to an AWS-provided online meeting account by submitting a request via the Section Request Form.

AWS Speakers Directory
The AWS Speakers Directory has been developed to help AWS Sections and Student Chapters identify the presenters needed to facilitate meaningful educational and technical programs. Many speakers in the AWS Speakers Directory have identified as being able to provide an online presentation. Some speakers, including 2020 AWS President Robert W. Roth, have even shared pre-recorded content in their Speaker Profile.

All District Directors, active Section Officers, Section Committee Chairmen, and Student Chapter Advisors and Officers have access to the AWS Speakers Directory.

Please follow these steps to access the AWS Speakers Directory:

  1. Log into your AWS Member Account (http://my.aws.org/)
  2. Click the “District/Sections” button on your Member Account dashboard
  3. Click the “Find Speakers” button which will likely be located near the upper right-hand corner of the page

 Once in the Directory, simply:

  1. Click “Get Started”
  2. Then “Search For Speaker” to view all active Speakers in the AWS Speakers Directory.

If you would like to be added to the AWS Speakers Directory please visit aws.org/speakers to submit the information needed to create your Speaker Profile. Please also share this with anyone you know who may be a great addition to the AWS Speakers Directory.

AWS Webinar Series
Welding is the foundation of modern life, and our industry and members are essential. Get the inside scoop on the welding standards, certifications, seminars, workforce development activities and more that support our industry. Learn more about AWS resources that can help expand your industry expertise when you watch our informational video sessions on topics including:

  • Introduction to AWS
  • Best Practices and Insights to Become a Certified Welder
  • Preparing for a Career as a CWI
  • Resistance Welding Process, Industry, Careers and Certification
  • Thermal Spray: The Industry, Technology, Applications and Careers

These videos are PERFECT content for an easy online Section meeting!

Visit aws.org/webinars to access the recordings.


The AWS COVID-19 FAQ is the best way to stay up to date on updates relating to AWS’ response to COVID-19.

For example; Many Section leaders have asked if they can resume in-person meetings.

As stated in the COVID-19 FAQ posted to AWS.org, AWS has asked Sections and Student Chapters to follow guidance and protocols established by all local, state, and federal health officials. The use of web-based meeting tools, such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, GoogleMeet, etc., is encouraged to keep members engaged during this time.

AWS Sections can request access to an AWS-provided online meeting account by emailing Sr. Manager, Sections and Student Chapters, Darrill A. Gaschler.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES (to help make your online meetings more successful)

This article highlights reasons why chapters (Sections, in our case) should consider going virtual. *The information is presented in a format intended for people in roles within organizations more similar to a staff role, but there is value in sharing this with our Section leaders as there is great insight you can surely gain from it.

Not sure how to provide the education and information your Section is known for if you move to an online format? This article highlights ways in which an online meeting format could allow AWS Sections to host Webinars, “Lunch and Learns”, and Study Groups to unite members and reinforce the importance of a Section’s ability to provide access to information, resources, and support for members. 

Worried your Section won’t be able to fundraise as it has in the past due to COVID-19 -related disruption? Check out this article which highlights ways in which online events could lead to meaningful relationship building and fundraising.

And do not hesitate to contact Darrill A. Gaschler, Sr. Manager, Sections and Student Chapters should you need support at any point along the way.

AWS Section Solutions Conversations

Section Solutions Conversations

These monthly teleconference conversations are intended to enhance ties between AWS HQ and AWS Sections and Student Chapters by providing timely updates and tips on Section operations.


Connection information coming soon. 

Recordings of past conversations are linked below:

December 2020 - Zoom Demo

November 2020 - Safely Conducting Business Online

     Click HERE to access the image of "red flags" to be on the lookout for that was shown 
     during the November AWS Section Solutions Conversation. 

October 2020 - Effective Communication

September 2020 - Section Rosters: Get to Know Your Members

August 2020Section Spotlight: AWS Mobile Section; Guest Presenter, AWS Past President Ronald C. Pierce
*AUGUST ACTION ITEM: Complete the Online Meeting Survey mentioned during the Conversation. 

July 2020 - Welding Competitions: Martica Ventura and Ed Norman share best practices for planning and hosting welding competitions. 

  CLICK HERE to access the Welding Competition Guide referenced during the July

June 2020 - AWS Committees: AWS Staff Members Chelsea Steel and Peter Portela will share information about AWS Committees. 

May 2020 - Section Spotlight: Los Angeles/Inland Empire Section talks about engaging members via a variety of Section meetings and activating Section Committees. 

April 2020 - Keeping Members Engaged During COVID-19 - or other situations preventing in-person connection. 

March 2020 - AWS Speakers Directory

February 2020 - AWS Section Officer Communities

January 2020 - AWS Foundation Scholarships and other funding opportunities

September 2019 - Successful Student Engagement

August 2019 - Hosting Successful Events 

July 2019 - How to Welcome New Members

June 2019 - How to Inform and Motivate New Leaders

April 2019 - AWS District Conferences - What to Expect

March 2019 - Communicating with Members: Effective Practices for Email and Social Media

February 2019 - Reporting Section News to the Welding Journal
*Please note that a new Welding Journal Submission Form is in place. It is linked near the top of this Section Toolkit. 

January 2019 - AWS Foundation Scholarships
*Please note that an updated presentation on this topic will be conducted in January 2020.

November 2018 - Diversity and Inclusion

October 2018 - Member Highlight: Ben Newcomb; Instructor at Madison College, 2018 Chair of the AWS Madison-Beloit Section, and past AWS Student Chapter leader.

September 2018 - Introduction to AWS Section-Support Staff

Awarding PDH

Sections can award Professional Development Hours (PDH) for meetings/events where technical presentations that cover one or more of the areas indicated in AWS B5.1, Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors, are given. PDHs will be credited based upon each contact hour of activity, consisting of not less than 50 minutes of instruction. Currently, a maximum of 20 PDHs may be accepted for 9-year CWI and SCWI recertifications.

AWS QC1:2016, Specification for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors (QC1:2016 AMD 1) includes an overview of PDHs and the many different ways a candidate can achieve them.

One question we are receiving often as more meetings/events turn to a virtual format is;
"Does our Section's online meeting/event qualify?"

16.5.1 of AWS QC1:2016 notes that:
PDHs may be earned by participating in any classroom, correspondence, or distance learning in one or more subject areas listed in AWS B5.1, Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors, Table 1.

How does our Section inform AWS of PDHs we have awarded?

Sections are asked to complete this form each time they host a technical presentation in which they issued Professional Development Hours (PDH) to attendees. Information submitted via this form will go into a database that will allow AWS Certification personnel to easily review the event details which will help AWS provide better support for Certification candidates who are seeking to apply PDHs to initial certification and renewal. 

Some Sections also use this Meeting Attendance Log to keep track of meeting attendees should the AWS Certification Department need to verify a certification candidate’s record of attendance.

*The AWS Section Officer Community – the “cloud” storage that AWS HQ provides to all active AWS Sections, upon request – is a great place to store documents like this for long-term safekeeping.

Additional Resources

2020 AWS Executive Director and Staff Update

Click here to view the 2020 AWS Executive Director and Staff Update webinar that was conducted on Monday, June 1, 2020, providing a detailed presentation of the 2020 AWS Executive Director and Staff Update that would be provided during AWS District Conferences.  

Use the links below to skip forward to different portions of the video that may be of greatest interest to you:

1. Welcome from AWS Executive Director & CEO, Gary Konarska II - 1:54
2. Membership - 7:24
3. Section Services - 11:04
4. Certification - 16:44
5. Education - 21:53
6. Expositions - 30:06
7. Publications - 31:55
8. Standards Development - 36:00
9. Sales & Customer Service - 38:06
10. Awards (WEMCO Excellence in Welding, AWS Distinguished Member Award, and AWS Distinguished Welder Award) - 44:08 
11. AWS Foundation - 47:20

Resources for Interactions with Educators, Counselors, Students and Parents
In response to a recommendation from the Membership Committee, the AWS Foundation has put together some presentations and resources for you to use in interactions with educators, counselors, students, and parents. Contact Joe Young, Senior Manager, Workforce Development (jyoung@aws.org) for the most up-to-date slide presentation related to careers in welding and scholarship and grant opportunities.

The Careers in Welding website is a great source of information on the many job opportunities available in the welding industry. The direct link to the site is www.careersinwelding.com.

The AWS Foundation also has materials and handouts related to career and scholarship promotion that can be requested by contacting Nazdhia Prado at nprado@aws.org.

This video link is to “Why You Should Become a Welder”, a video developed by WEMCO as part of the Weld & Shine program.

We appreciate your help in highlighting the many career opportunities available in welding and encouraging students to apply for our scholarships! Any questions, feel free to contact Joe Young, Senior Manager, Workforce Development (jyoung@aws.org) or John Douglass, Associate Director, Foundation (jdouglass@aws.org).


Section Event Announcement Poster
The AWS Marketing Department has created a poster template that Sections can use to promote upcoming events. Click HERE to download the Section Event Announcement Poster.

Contact Sr. Manager, Sections and Student Chapters, Darrill A. Gaschler (dgaschler@aws.org) should you need any support finding the best way to utilize the poster.


Section/District/National Awards
Description and criteria for awards selected at your annual District Conferences can be found beginning on page 54 of the Manual of Operations for Sections and Divisions. Nomination forms can be found via the links below. 
Note: Complete nomination packages for National-level nominations for these awards must be submitted to National for review and selection by the National Awards Committee.

Suggested Guidelines for Selecting Awardees


Section Logos

A stacked version of one-color black and one-color white Section logos for apparel and/or merchandise use only are posted in the area below this description by AWS District. Click on the Section name to download the ZIP file.

Please contact Darrill A. Gaschler, Sr. Manager, Sections and Student Chapters at dgaschler@aws.org, to request the appropriate version of the Section's logo for use in your newsletters, meeting notices, flyers and other materials.

AWS Logos
JPG High Resolution Logo (1500 x 1500)
PNG High Resolution Logo (1500 x 1500)
PNG Low Resolution Logo (400 x 400)

AWS District 01
Boston  •  Central Mass / Rhode Island  •  Connecticut  •  Green & White Mountains  •  Maine  •  Montreal

AWS District 02
Long Island  •  New Jersey  •  New York  •  Philadelphia

AWS District 03
Central Pennsylvania  •  Cumberland Valley  •  Lancaster  •  Lehigh Valley  • 
Reading  •  Washington, DC  •  York-Central Pennsylvania

AWS District 04
Carolina  •  Charlotte  •  Northeastern Carolina  •  Southwest Virginia  •  Tidewater  •  Triangle

AWS District 05
Atlanta  •  Columbia  •  Florida West Coast  •  North Central Florida  • 
North Florida  •  Palm Beach  •  South Carolina  •  South Florida

AWS District 06
Niagara Frontier  •  Northern New York  •  Rochester  •  Syracuse  •  Twin Tiers

AWS District 07
Cincinnati  •  Columbus  •  Dayton  •  Johnny Appleseed  •  Johnstown-Altoona  •  Mid-Ohio Valley  •  Pittsburgh  •  Tri-State  •  Wheeling

AWS District 08
Chattanooga  •  Greater Huntsville  •  Holston Valley  •  Nashville  •  Northeast Mississippi  •  Northeast Tennessee  •  Western Carolina  •  West Tennessee

AWS District 09
Acadiana  •  Auburn-Opelika  •  Baton Rouge  •  Birmingham  •  Central Louisiana  •  Mobile  •  Morgan City  •  New Orleans  •  Pascagoula

AWS District 10
Cleveland  •  Drake Well  •  Mahoning Valley  •  Northwestern Pennsylvania  •  Stark Central

AWS District 11
Central Michigan  •  Detroit  •  Northern Michigan  •  Northwest Ohio  • Saginaw Valley  •  West Michigan

AWS District 12
Fox Valley  •  Lakeshore  •  Madison-Beloit  •  Milwaukee  •  Racine / Kenosha  •  Upper Peninsula

AWS District 13
Blackhawk  •  Chicago  •  Illinois Valley  •  JAK  •  Peoria

AWS District 14
Indiana  •  Lexington  •  Louisville  •  Mississippi Valley  •  Sangamon Valley  •  St. Louis  •  Tri-River

AWS District 15
Arrowhead  •  Northern Plains  •  Northwest  •  Saskatoon

AWS District 16
Eastern Iowa  •  Iowa  •  Kansas  •  Kansas City  •  Mid-Plains  •  Nebraska  
Siouxland  •  Southeast Nebraska

AWS District 17
Central Arkansas  •  Central Texas  •  East Texas  •  North Texas  •  Oklahoma City  •  Ozark  •  Tulsa

AWS District 18
Chihuahua  • Corpus Christi  •  El Paso  •  Houston  •  Lake Charles  •  Monterrey  •  Rio Grande Valley  •  Sabine  •  San Antonio

AWS District 19
Alaska  •  Alberta  •  British Columbia  •  Inland Empire  •  Portland  •  Puget Sound Olympic  •  Spokane  •  Willamette Valley

AWS District 20
Colorado  •  Idaho / Montana  •  New Mexico  •  Southern Colorado  •  Utah  •  Wyoming

AWS District 21
Arizona  •  California Central Coast  •  Hawaii  •  Kern  •  Long Beach / Orange County  • 
Los Angeles / Inland Empire  •  Nevada  •  San Diego  •  San Fernando Valley

AWS District 22
Central Valley  •  Sacramento Valley  •  San Francisco  •  Santa Clara Valley  •  Sierra Nevada

International Sections
Chile  •  Costa Rica  •  Ecuador  •  Emirates Welding  •  Germany  •  India  •  Israel  •  Jamaica  •  Korea  •  Malaysia  •  Peru  •  Rio De La Plata  •  Saudi Arabia  •  Scandinavia  •  Singapore  •  Taiwan  •  Trinidad & Tobago


Instructor's Institute

The AWS Instructors Institute provides welding instructors an opportunity to enhance and strengthen their teaching skills, experience hands-on learning of new teaching techniques, and learn more about AWS programs such as SENSE. Meeting together with other instructors, the participants will be able to communicate and share their experiences in a setting that is devoted to their specific concerns. Each year, a welding instructor is selected at each of the 22 District Conferences to attend the institute, held at AWS HQ in Doral (Miami), Florida.

Click here to learn more about the Instructors Institute, including the next date and application information. 

District Directors

Manual for District Directors
Manual of Operations for District Directors

District Director Expense Report
District Director travel expense report form

District Director Travel Fund Reconciliation Form
Quarterly Travel Fund Reconciliation Form

2020 District Conference AWS Update – Item 9

District Conference Reimbursements Form

District Director Annual Report Form

District Director Newsletter
Sample Newsletter templates

Sample Newsletter #1
Sample Newsletter #2

National Welding Month

National Welding Month 2020

April is National Welding Month!

Welding careers play an integral role in keeping people safe and advancing the quality of life across the globe, yet participation in the skilled trades continues to decrease. Please join the American Welding Society throughout April as we celebrate National Welding Month to bring awareness to our industry and its available career paths.

Click the arrow in the bottom right-hand corner to learn more. 


2020 AWS Section Annual Report

The 2020 AWS Section Annual Report is now online! 

Please note that the 2020 AWS Section Annual Reports are due August 15, 2020.
Reports received by AWS World Headquarters after August 15, 2020 will invoke a penalty of 25% to be deducted from the Section Rebate of member dues. Reports received after September 15, 2020 will incur a 75% penalty.

Please be advised: The Section Annual Report is a bylaw requirement of the American Welding Society (AWS). The Section Annual Report covers the fiscal year - June 1 to May 31 - and must be received by AWS World Headquarters in order for AWS to issue an Anniversary Payment and Dues Rebate to your Section.

Please click the appropriate link below to view details relating to the Annual Report your Section should be completing.

Domestic Sections - all Sections in North America (including Mexico, the United States, and Canada)

2020 AWS Section Annual Report - Part I (Secretary's Report)

*Part II (Treasurer’s Report) will be distributed to all active domestic (North American Sections) Section Treasurers via email in early June. 

International Sections - any/all Sections outside of North America

2020 AWS International Section Annual Report

AWS Section News Newsletter

Links to the past 12 months of the AWS Section News Newsletter will be posted here.

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