Welding Industry Partnerships

Posted on Categories Business, Community, Workforce Engagement, Career Information and Exploration, College and Career Pathways, Recruitment and Retention

At a Glance

The welding program at A. Philip Randolph Career And Technical High School has garnered the support of several large area employers.


A. Philip Randolph Career And Technical High School is a large urban high school housed in a refurbished manufacturing plant. In 2012, administrators decided to reinstate the welding program, which had been closed for approximately 10 years. 

One major component of the new welding program was the establishment of industry partnerships. The welding instructor (who is a graduate of A. Philip Randolph) identified the need to update and upgrade the machines and equipment at the school. With the support of administrators, he secured participation of some of Philadelphia’s largest employers. Most notably, the school has received commitments from Klover Construction, Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, PTR Baler and Compactor, Southeast Public Transportation Agency, and Airgas to hire all students completing the program at the advanced NOCTI level and meeting attendance and grade requirements. These companies and others have also provided donations, industry tours, internship opportunities, and materials and supplies to the program.

To assist the school with recruiting and publicity, the companies have created two videos to promote the program to other employers and to promote their partnership with the American Welding Society. One video tells the story of the transformation of the welding program at the school. A second video highlights the partnership between Airgas and A. Phillip Randolph and shares information about the level of support that Airgas has provided (and continues to provide) to the school. This video is designed to inspire other local businesses to collaborate with the school and impact the future workforce like Airgas has done.

Origin / Implementation

The welding program was reinstated to address the economic needs of the Philadelphia region. There is a large number of manufactures and fabricators that operate in the region and area employers struggle to find and hire enough qualified welders.

The administrators and instructor knew that securing the support, resources and contacts from leading manufactures in the Philadelphia area would be critical to the success of the program. The support of industry partners provides funding and materials that otherwise would not be available through the school.

Results / Impact

The industry partners have indicated that A. Philip Randolph and the students trained at the school are a key element in the economic development of the region. The program has placed dozens of students with partnering employers. They have received thousands of dollars in donations. Students are excelling and graduating at rates much higher than the average for the district. NOCTI and industry certifications are at the advanced level. As of 2015, the program’s enrollment was over capacity.


A. Philip Randolph Career And Technical High School

Darryl Overton, Principal

Joe Williams, Instructor