GAWDA Gives Schools A Makeover

Paint A School

Click the image above to see photos from Keen Compressed Gas' recent makeover of Delcastle Technical High School

As we begin spring 2012, the GAWDA leadership team is putting plans in place to carry through with the initiative announced by 2011 GAWDA President Lloyd Robinson at the annual convention in New York City and challenging all of our members to “Paint a Vo Tech lab.”

In celebration of April’s designation as “National Welding Month,” we are asking all GAWDA members to identify a local school with a welding program. Assist this school with recruiting new students and brightening the attitude of current students by cleaning up the classroom and/ or welding center. Turn a dingy classroom into a bright learning environment with a fresh coat of paint. Clean up, paint, repair, replace curtains and screens, put up posters, add and/or orgapaintnize parts cabinets, put consumables in bins, provide training manuals and videos and anything else you can think of. Get the students and faculty involved; we found them to be very interested and helpful in the improvement of their environment. Ask your vendors to assist and contribute, make it a community service project for your employees and families. Arrange a “Careers” discussion with the kids. Talk to them about the skills, attitude and appearance that are important to today’s employers. In a day you can make a difference that will last a lifetime.

We all have welding schools in our market area that need our assistance and support. These students are the future of our industry as customers or employees. The welding instructor needs your support and encouragement. Frequently, in any budget cut back, the vocational programs are the first affected. The school administration and community leaders need to understand our support for welding programs and the students being trained.

AWISCO Paints A Vo-Tech

Keep an eye out for photos of AWISCO's transformation of Sussex County Technical School in the April 23 GAWDA Connection newsletter.

To kick off this initiative, both AWISCO (Maspeth, NY) and Keen Compressed Gas (Wilmington, DE) have stepped up to the challenge and completed the first two “Painting a Vo Tech” projects. View photos from the projects showing the huge improvement made at the chosen schools. We will be mailing a DVD we encourage you to use at upcoming career nights, student days, or any other meeting where you have students in attendance. The DVD is a complete presentation about welding and the myriad of opportunities available in the profession. All the program needs is an introduction by you or a member of your staff.

Please join the effort to “Paint a Vo Tech.” You, your employees, vendors, and all that participate will feel a great sense of accomplishment. We want to recognize all of the GAWDA efforts both on the and websites and at the 2012 SMC being held April 28 – May 1 in Baltimore, so get started TODAY!  Be sure to take before and after photos and submit them to Monica Pfarr at If you need any assistance or have any questions, contact either Sam Gentry at or Monica Pfarr.

Together, GAWDA can make a difference for the next generation of welders!

Bryan Keen
2012 GAWDA President

  • To order copies of the “Careers” video for distribution to schools please email
  • For more information on how to get started, please visit, Resources (top menu) then Painting a Votech Challenge.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association