DANBURY, Conn., October 22, 2015 – Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) today announced that nearly 100 welding students are graduating from the company’s inaugural “Skills Pipeline” program in Louisiana. Additionally, the company announced it will continue to support the program in 2016 through the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS).
Skills Pipeline, funded by Praxair’s Global Giving Program, provided more than $300,000 to train approximately 100 new welders in an accelerated one-year curriculum through Baton Rouge Community College, Delgado Community College and SOWELA Technical Community College. With the newly announced second phase in Louisiana, Praxair will have provided more than $500,000 to create a talented pipeline of welders in the state.
“This collaboration to help develop a skilled workforce is critical to Praxair, our customers and Louisiana and we are proud to celebrate with our graduates who have worked so hard over the past year to develop and hone their craft,” said Anne Roby, senior vice president at Praxair. “We also want to thank our partners in this endeavor, the LCTCS and the State of Louisiana, whose support was essential to the success of this program.”
Skills Pipeline is the most recent community engagement initiative demonstrating Praxair’s commitment to advancing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. By 2016, Praxair will have invested more than $1 million in welding workforce development through Skills Pipeline. The company will also be expanding the program to other areas across the country next year.
“I'm so proud of the graduates of this program and happy to celebrate the success of the WISE legislation,” said Louisiana House Speaker Chuck Kleckley. “Praxair has been a willing partner and we appreciate their stepping up to the plate to become the prime example of what industry-academia-governmental collaborations can do. The graduation of these new welders helps to close the gap of skilled professionals, as Louisiana welcomes continued economic development in our state and we continue the drive to increase our skilled work force.”
“The partnership and commitment from Praxair to continue investing in our students, our colleges and the workforce of Louisiana is extraordinary,” said Monty Sullivan, president of the LCTCS. “We are proud of our students and their accomplishments in completing the Skills Pipeline program, as well as their transition into the workforce.”
The scholarships provided students access to an accelerated AWS Level 1 SENSE curriculum as well as career-readiness content from Praxair. Courses in the AWS curriculum included:
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
- Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
- Manual Oxyfuel Gas Cutting (OFC)
- Mechanized Oxyfuel Gas Cutting (OFC)
- Manual Plasma Arc Cutting (PAC)
- Manual Air Carbon Arc Cutting (CAC-A)
Praxair has a long history of sparking creativity in welding. Through its Praxair Distribution, Inc. business, the company is a leading supplier of proprietary welding, cutting, specialty and medical gases, as well as welding-related equipment and supplies. With its retail stores, world-renowned ProStar® product line, cylinder-filling plants, distribution warehouses and online channels, Praxair serves over 500,000 customers and is recognized for its expertise in enhanced metal fabrication productivity services. With such extensive expertise, Praxair is in the unique position to help further the careers of future and current welders.
Praxair, Inc., a Fortune 250 company with 2014 sales of $12.3 billion, is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies are making our planet more productive by bringing efficiency and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, primary metals and many others. More information about Praxair, Inc. is available at www.praxair.com.