Scouts gain Welding Badge as part of new partnership
Lincoln Electric and the Boy Scouts of America are working together to help Scouts earn the Welding Merit Badge. As part of this new partnership, 100 Ohio Scouts underwent hands-on welding training at Lincoln Electric’s Cleveland headquarters on Saturday, April 13.
According to the American Welding Society, more than 140,000 new welders will be needed by 2019. The demand for highly skilled workers is becoming more acute as older skilled workers approach retirement age and much of the incoming generation of workers lack the skills and technical knowledge that U.S. manufacturers need. As the world leader in the manufacturing of welding products, Lincoln Electric is committed to addressing this skills gap.
“Lincoln Electric is helping Scouts get excited about such career options as welding, engineering and manufacturing in a hands-on way, while earning their badges,” says Carl Peters, Lincoln Electric’s director of technical training. “They get to explore different career pathways by trying something new. And, they’ll get a sense of accomplishment when they walk away with their own welding project—a specially-designed eagle. You should see the pride these kids have when they weld up that eagle. That really makes it worth it for us.”
The Boy Scouts created the Welding Merit Badge, which debuted in February 2012, in close collaboration with the American Welding Society and industrial partners. To earn the badge, scouts must learn welding safety requirements, demonstrate first aid procedures that may be needed in the welding environment, demonstrate proficiency in skill sets related to the welding of joints, and learn about careers in various industries that employ welding skills.
“Lincoln Electric is a phenomenal partner with the Boy Scouts of America,” said Carl Boyles, director of support services for Boy Scouts of America. “We have used Lincoln Electric’s expertise to train merit badge counselors and scouts on how to earn the Welding Merit Badge. You would be surprised at how many kids want to learn how to weld. It is a skill not often learned, and the Merit Badge program is all about introducing new skills to Boy Scouts.”
Scouts from the following Ohio Councils are participating in Saturday’s training:
- Greater Cleveland Council (Cuyahoga and Northern Summit counties)
- Greater Western Reserve Council (Lake, Ashtabula, Trumbull and Geauga counties)
- The Heart of Ohio Council (Lorain, Richland, Huron, Erie, Ashland, Crawford, Morrow and Wyandot counties)