Two Kenosha-area high schools selected for welding education initiative as demand for workers skilled in trade escalates

Two Kenosha-area high schools have been selected to take part in an education initiative that aims to increase the number of welders to help meet demands of more than 300,000 needed nationwide for at least the next four years.

Indian Trail High School and Academy in Kenosha and Central High School in Paddock Lake will be among 16 new schools participating in the Airgas’ High School Welding Education Initiative, the company announced Thursday.

Airgas, an Air Liquide company, is a U.S. supplier of industrial, medical and specialty gases, as well as hard goods and related products. It is one of the largest U.S. suppliers of safety products and a U.S. supplier of ammonia products and process chemicals.

In addition to the newly participating schools, the initiative currently has 20 returning schools in the program. Since the start of the high school welding program in 2012 — with a pilot program in Philadelphia that was followed by a national expansion in 2018 — Airgas has assisted 70 schools, 2,700 students and more than 350 teachers.

Each of the school programs was chosen to participate based on four key factors: “a high, unmet need at the school; a productive welding program with the potential to graduate job-ready welders; passionate teachers; and enthusiastic local Airgas champions,” according to the release.

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