Industry Partnerships for Welding

Posted on Categories Business, Community, Workforce Engagement, Work-based learning

At a Glance

Welding instructors at Edison High School developed union and industry partnerships in order to better train students for jobs on industrial grade equipment and technology.


In order to provide students with an industry-led learning experience, instructors of the welding program at Edison High School (EHS) developed strong partnerships with local welding unions including the Boilermakers, Iron Workers, and Glaziers. The purpose of these partnerships is to train students for real jobs on industrial grade equipment and technology. Through these partnerships, program instructors ensure the program curriculum and lab are kept up-to-date with the latest industry trends and entry-level requirements and students are provided with employment opportunities.

Edison High School is located in a low-income section of Philadelphia where youth unemployment is as high as 50%. The instructors expect that placing these students in high wage/high skill jobs will have demonstrable effect on the neighborhoods surrounding the school. Students participating in a union educational experience are hired and then trained to meet union expectations through instruction and hands-on experience with equipment supplied by the local employers. Students attend sessions two times per week at the union’s training center. Students train on the equipment to become familiar with it and to gain valuable practice/skills specified by the companies. Industry partners include Aker Shipyard, PT Baler, Southeast Public Transportation Agency and Airgas. These companies have placed their own equipment in the program at the school. 

Origin / Implementation

While the welding program at EHS has been operating since the 2004-05 school year, the instructor began building union and industry partnerships in 2010 in order to provide students with hands-on, industry-led learning experience.

Results / Impact

In 2014-15, all 16 graduates of the the welding program placed were placed in either an apprenticeship or a job post-graduation. Additionally, skilled workers are in great demand in Philadelphia. This program contributes a positive economic impact by building a pipeline to supply companies with trained and capable workers and apprentices.


Edison High School, School District of Philadelphia

Awilda Ortiz, Principal

Dave Kipput, Director

Anthony Rowe, Instructor