Awards, Education, Giving Back

American Welding Society Foundation Awards Light a Spark Grant to Seven Schools

December 29, 2023

The American Welding Society (AWS) Foundation, in partnership with Miller Electric Mfg. LLC and Bechtel Group Foundation, is pleased to announce the recipients of the Light a Spark Grant:

  • Bell City High School — Bell City, MO
  • Griggs County Central School — Cooperstown, ND
  • Millennium High School — Goodyear, AZ
  • Mountain View High School — Lawrenceville, GA
  • Northern Cass School — Hunter, ND
  • Warren Hills Regional High School — Washington, NJ
  • Wildwood Middle-High School — Sumterville, FL

The Light a Spark Grant brings welding back to high school with a turnkey Miller® equipment package valued at more than $14,000. Each package includes a multi-process welding machine, plasma cutter, supplies, personal protective equipment, and a MobileArc™ Augmented Reality Welding System.

“The AWS Foundation is extremely pleased to offer this grant to high schools that do not currently offer a welding program. Thanks to Miller Electric and Bechtel Group Foundation, hundreds of students will have the opportunity to experience welding for the first time and consider the possibility of welding as a career,” said AWS Foundation Executive Director Monica Pfarr.

“Miller is committed to advancing the craft of welding through providing a foundation to inspire and excel the knowledge and opportunities in the welding career path” says Jessica Marhefke, Vice President and General Manager, Miller. “We are proud to partner with AWS and Bechtel Group Foundation to provide these schools with the equipment and supplies needed to introduce their students to welding.”

“These kits make it easy for educators to offer realistic learning experiences and position students for success in community college and university programs,” said LeeAnne Lang, president of Bechtel Group Foundation.

This year the AWS Foundation will award more than $3 million in scholarships, grants, and research fellowships to support welding education and workforce development across the United States.

About AWS Foundation: The AWS Foundation was established by the American Welding Society on September 13, 1989, to support programs that ensure the growth and development of the welding industry through strengthening research and educational opportunities in welding and related industries. Led by a volunteer Board of Trustees, the Foundation is organized as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Administration, including program development, fundraising, public relations, marketing, and financial management is provided by a small development staff of the American Welding Society. Its operations are conducted from the Society’s offices in Miami, Florida. For more information, visit

About Miller: Miller Electric Mfg. LLC, headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, is a leading worldwide manufacturer of Miller® brand arc welding products and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works, Inc. (NYSE: ITW). For more information, visit, call 1-800-4-A-Miller (800-426-4553), email, fax 877-327-8132, or write to Miller Electric Mfg. LLC, P.O. Box 100, Lithonia, GA 30058.

About Bechtel Group Foundation: Bechtel Group Foundation helps students worldwide succeed in their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies. The Foundation was created in 1954 by Bechtel, a trusted engineering, construction, and project management partner to industry and government.