ESAB Welding & Cutting Products recently announced three initiatives to support students and schools focused on manufacturing-related and skilled trade careers. First, ESAB has announced the WeldItForward student and school contest, which offers equipment, filler metal and cash prizes with a total retail value exceeding $97,000.
Second, ESAB is the exclusive equipment sponsor for the Paley-James Project, a collaboration between Jesse James of West Coast Choppers and world-renowned sculpture artist Albert Paley. Each artist will start one sculpture, but finish the other.
The works will be unveiled Nov. 6 at the FABTECH 2017 Exposition in Chicago and auctioned two weeks later. Proceeds will support grants, scholarships and educational opportunities created by the educational foundations of the five FABTECH co-sponsors: American Welding Society (AWS), Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI), Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA), Precision Metal Forming Association (PMA), and SME (previously the Society of Manufacturing Engineers).
Third, ESAB has created metalmentors.com, a website that includes the WeldItForward contest entry portal, news on the Paley-James Project and scholarship, grant and career-related information from AWS, CCAI, FMA, PMA, SME, and ESAB.
“The Metal Mentors website is a single, collaborative content destination from six organizations that pay it forward to the next generation. The site links to financial, educational and informational resources,” said Shyam Kambeyanda, president of ESAB. “By working together, we create greater possibilities for supporting the skilled trades and manufacturing and engineering careers targeting secondary and post-secondary students in technical education, manufacturing, and engineering programs.”
The WeldItForward contest has two phases, essay and fabricated metal project. From Aug. 21 to Oct. 9, schools in the United States and Canada (except Quebec) can enter an essay supporting the Weld It Forward contest theme. Judges will select six semi-finalists, comprised of three secondary schools and three post-secondary schools with a vocational or technical focus. ESAB will announce the winning schools via a Facebook Live event from FABTECH on Nov. 7.
The six semi-finalist schools will receive a welding and cutting equipment package valued at more than $6,000, and teams of two to five students will create a fabricated metal project using this equipment. The sculptures will be judged online where photos of the sculptures will be displayed. The two winning schools, one secondary and one post-secondary, will receive a grand prize of $20,000 in ESAB equipment and filler metals. Every student involved on the winning teams will receive an ESAB Sentinel A50 auto-darkening welding helmet ($300+ retail value), and a $250 cash award.
Contest rules and details are available at metalmentors.com.
Paley and James Support
Albert Paley is a world-renowned modernist metal sculptor. He is one of the most distinguished and influential metalworkers in the world. His passion for working with metal has driven him to support the challenge to encourage young talented people to seek opportunities in the various metalworking processes in the arts and trades.
“Metal working processes require a multitude of skills and disciplines,” said Paley. “However, when most people look at fabricated objects, they have no concept of the processes required to create that object. One of the reasons I agreed to participate in the Paley-James Project is that it would enable us to introduce more people to the myriad of career opportunities available within the field.”
Jesse James of Monster Garage also has a history of supporting education, including establishing the Long Beach Education Foundation and the associated Jesse James Industrial Arts & Welding Program.
“STEM classes give students the skills to carry them for the rest of their life,” said James. “The reward of changing metal into motorcycles or sculptures creates a spark that can turn a passion into a career. I’m proud to be in a position to turn those sparks into fire.”