Every April National Welding Month is celebrated to appreciate the men and women who put together the edifices and mechanisms that make up civilization as we know it today. Celebrating this month in 2020 is an opening to look at the contribution of welders to the American economy and society. It also presents a chance to discover how the welding industry works and the career opportunities it provides.
Welders contribute to the construction of buildings, cars, jewelry, aircraft, machines, ship, space stations, and other intricacies that drive modern society. All of what they help build is crucial to our modernized systems and way of living, but many people do not recognize or appreciate who they are and what they do, mainly because they rarely make news headlines.
Since 1966, the American Welding Society has promoted April as the National Welding Month. We can trace welding back to the bronze age where metal was joined together through a process known as forge welding, heating metal pieces until they were soft, and joining them with the use of a hammer.
It was the standard method until the industrial revolution when the electrical welding technique gained notoriety. Although Edmund Davy, a British chemist, discovered acetylene welding in 1836, it wasn’t until 1881 that Nikolay Bernados, a Russian engineer modernized the art of arc welding.
C.L Coffin, in 1890, was granted a U.S patent for a welding procedure known as the metal electrode. Other processes that welders discovered during this period, including resistance welding, seam welding, flash butt welding, projection welding, and spot welding.
The activities of World War 1 increased the need and assembly of armaments through welding. Many companies began to produce welding machines and electrodes to meet the challenge. At the end of the war, the American Welding Society was established.
The outbreak of World War II prompted an increase in the demand for welders and welding equipment because winning the war depended so much on many armaments they could produce. Their influence was so crucial that Franklin D. Roosevelt added a riveting comment as a testimonial to their efforts in his labor day statement on August 19, 1942.
It is also engraved on the National World War II memorial in Washington.
It read thus: ‘‘They have stoked the furnaces and hurried the factory wheels. They have made the planes and welded the tanks, riveting the ships, and rolled the shells.” The 1950s and 1960s featured brilliant improvements such as friction welding, electron beam welding process, electro-slag welding process, spray-type arc transfer, electro-gas, and laser welding.
These days, their impact on the American economy exists in the mining, construction fabrication industries. They are an essential part of 57 percent of the United States GDP.
The welding practice will continue to manifest throughout history, with research into low energy tools, environment-friendly welding materials, and the use of computer chips to calculate the lifespan of welding solid.
The National Welding Month is an opening to identify their impact on our existence by celebrating with them whichever way we can. You can get involved by attending a meeting in your local chapter or highlighting the excellent career opportunities it presents.
Here Are 5 Things Welders Worldwide Can Do to Commemorate This Day
1. Mentor/Introduce Someone to Welding
If you know someone who is having difficulties or wants a change of career, you can offer them the excellent incentives of the welding industry. Welding does not involve advanced degrees, and it takes a few months to qualify for a welding training certificate.
The skills are always in demand, which means they would often have jobs to do. Besides, welders get to travel all over the world and work on amazing projects and places like undersea and multistory buildings.
2. Promote It on Social Media
You or your organization can organize an awareness campaign on social media. Videos of exciting welding projects can be shared. Pictures of breathtaking places welders work will be an inspiration to others to appreciate the trade.
With the advancements of the digital age, there exist excellent means to promote trade globally. Posts can have the tag #NationalWeldingMonth on social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to spread information.
3. Donate to Skills Acquisition Outlets or Charitable Societies.
Funding to non-profits like the American Welding Society Foundation that offer scholarships, grants, and fellowships to scholars is welcome.
If you have a skills acquisition center close to you, consider giving out items such as shade lens, flint strikers, welding arcs, electrodes, gas tungsten, wires, screwdrivers, hammers, and safety equipment to those without proper gear. That way, you’ll stimulate more people towards the skill.
4. Volunteer or Start an Internship Program.
Internship programs are an economical means for individuals to learn precise skills and gain abilities that many companies need to stay competitive. Welding apprentices can learn early and utilize these talents to help companies remain profitable in the future.
If you’re a welder, you can volunteer to speak and showcase DIY projects to young or mature students. For example, you can present them with a heavy-duty TIG and teach its advantages over other welders. It would give them a chance to watch an experienced welder, improve techniques, and get professional advice.
5. Discuss and Connect
If you’re part of a community welder association, a few days throughout the month can be set aside for get-togethers. An event would provide an avenue for deliberations or merrymaking.
An award night to compliment deserving members of society is a good option. Besides, this presents an opportunity to develop and network with others in the same industry. You can join and share ideas on the global AWS Member Network or organize or sponsor adverts on radio or television.
We can identify the significance of welders in our society. Let’s use this opportunity to thank them for the pivotal and unrecognized role they play to uphold nations across the world.