From left: Deborah Mates, executive director of the CWA Foundation, Dayton Block, Jethro Ulrich, both welding teachers at St. Joseph High School, and principal Hugh MacDonald during the CWA Foundation and Marinucci Family Foundation cheque presentation.Click image to enlargeAn Edmonton, AB, high school has become the first one in the country to implement a new welding curriculum created by the Canadian Welding Bureau Intitute's ACORN program, launched earlier this year.

The Canadian Welding Association Foundation, Marinucci Family Foundation, Canadian Welding Bureau Institute has partnered with St. Joseph High School in Edmonton to implement the program, the first-ever national end-to-end welding curriculum in the country funded by the CWA Foundation.

“It’s a pleasure to be partnering with St. Joseph High School as they will be the first secondary school in Canada to implement this no cost, modern welding curriculum,” says Deborah Mates, executive director of the CWA Foundation. “This initiative will change the way students learn welding at the secondary level because of its current pedagogical tools such as 3-D printing, a mobile application, and even textbooks with augmented reality, to ensure students remain engaged and get the best possible welding education.”

Dayton Block, St. Joseph welding teacher, says implementing ACORN is going to improve the overall welding program and better prepare the students to be industry ready if and when they choose to enter the profession.

“We’re very thankful for all the support. It’s encouraging knowing there are organizations out there that truly care about inspiring the next generation of welding professionals,” says Block. “We’re fortunate to be the first high school in Canada to be implementing ACORN, it’s really going to help our students because of the curriculum’s focus on pre-employment skills.”

St. Joseph High School Principal Hugh MacDonald said ACORN will provide his welding students with a harmonized understanding as they enter the profession later in life.

“By supplementing provincial programs throughout the country, this new resource, ACORN, from the Canadian Welding Association Foundation and Canadian Welding Bureau Institute, will ensure that all high school welders enter the profession with a common understanding of what is occurring in the welding profession across Canada,” he said.

In addition, The CWA Foundation launched its Secondary School Welding Helmet Initiative, and will be distributing 1,800 welding helmets to various high schools across the country that have full time welding programs. St. Joseph will receive 22 auto-darkening welding helmets.

Also, St. Joseph High School will receive $50,000 over 10 years from a funding partnership between the CWA Foundation and the Marinucci Family Foundation to go towards their welding program.

“This is a monumental day for schools as they will be supplied with new custom designed auto darkening welding helmets at no cost,” says Mates. “With the additional funding provided by the CWA Foundation and the Marinucci Family Foundation, St. Joseph High School can purchase new materials and equipment so students will have the best in-classroom experience.”

The CWA Foundation and the Marinucci Family Foundation partnered to create a $500,000 fund that will benefit 10 secondary welding school programs in Canada over 10 years.

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