Radnor, PA JUNE 8, 2021
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Airgas Announces Expansion of High School Welding Education Initiative
Airgas, an Air Liquide company and a leading supplier of industrial, medical and specialty gases, safety and welding products, announces the expansion of its High School Welding Education Initiative to 23 new schools and 6 returning schools. These programs were selected from a large number of excellent nominations based on four key factors: high unmet need at the school; a productive welding program with the potential to graduate job-ready welders; passionate teachers; and enthusiastic Airgas local champions.
2021 Participating Schools
Participating schools will receive a customized mix of hands-on professional development training or continuing education for welding teachers, welding consumables or equipment, safety PPE - such as RADNOR® welding and safety products - and other resources. The program also builds long-term relationships with local education leaders and Airgas welding and safety experts. As more schools participate in this program, Airgas is fielding increased interest and support from customers, suppliers, government officials, and Air Liquide colleagues, stemming from shared interest in boosting career opportunities and cultivating the next generation of welders.
The U.S. will need over 375,000 welding professionals by 2023 to fill job openings, according to recent projections accounting for economic growth, a retiring workforce, career advancement of the workforce, and technological advancements (Emsi, March 2020). With many high schools and junior colleges under-resourced throughout the United States, it is difficult to close the gap.
Over the past three years, Airgas has built on the success of a pilot program in Philadelphia and expanded the Airgas High School Welding Education Initiative to add additional underserved schools to the program. In 2020, 65 Airgas associates from 10 regions provided socially distant support to more than 1,000 welding students, 152 teachers and 29 schools and donated welding machines, consumables and PPE.
Andy Cichocki, Airgas Chief Operating Officer, commented: “As professionals in the metal fabrication industry, many of us know first-hand the importance of providing students with early exposure to emerging welding opportunities. We must continue to support our local communities and to find opportunities to enlist future generations of talented welders.”
A world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health, Air Liquide is present in 78 countries with approximately 64,500 employees and serves more than 3.8 million customers and patients. Oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen are essential small molecules for life, matter and energy. They embody Air Liquide’s scientific territory and have been at the core of the company’s activities since its creation in 1902.
Air Liquide’s ambition is to be a leader in its industry, deliver long term performance and contribute to sustainability - with a strong commitment to climate change and energy transition at the heart of its strategy. The company’s customer-centric transformation strategy aims at profitable, regular and responsible growth over the long term. It relies on operational excellence, selective investments, open innovation and a network organization implemented by the Group worldwide. Through the commitment and inventiveness of its people, Air Liquide leverages energy and environment transition, changes in healthcare and digitization, and delivers greater value to all its stakeholders.
Air Liquide’s revenue amounted to more than 20 billion euros in 2020. Air Liquide is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (compartment A) and belongs to the CAC 40, EURO STOXX 50 and FTSE4Good indexes.