Welding Program Industry Partnership

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

At a Glance

Instructors in the welding program at Jeff Tech have formed a partnership with Matheson Valley Gases, Inc., a local supplier of industrial, medical, and specialty gases and gas-handling equipment.


In an effort to promote strong relationships with local businesses, Jeff Tech has formed a close partnership with Gary Kahle and Matheson Valley Gases, Inc. As a representative of Matheson Valley Gases, Mr. Kahle serves on the Occupational Advisory Committee for Jeff Tech’s welding program and has served as the guest speaker at the National Technical Honor Society Induction in November, 2013. Mr. Kahle also serves as a substitute teacher for secondary programs when requested.

Origin / Implementation

Once a year, Matheson Valley Gases Inc. partners with Miller Electric, a supplier of welding equipment and John Smelko, welding instructor, to host a Welding Expo. The event, which takes place in the afternoon and evening, encourages students, their parents, and potential students to participate. Local businesses (potential employers of the students) are also in attendance.

Representatives from Miller Electric bring samples of the latest welding technology for demonstration. They bring mobile stations where the students can use the equipment to get a feel for how the equipment works, and representatives perform interactive demonstrations for students to experience the state of the art equipment. Contests are set up for students’ participation and door prizes are distributed to participating parents and community members. The door prizes consist of projects that the welding students created earlier in the school year. One example of a specialty project created by the welding program is the ground hog statue for February 2nd (Groundhog Day) as Punxsutawney is one of Jeff Tech’s sending school districts.

During the Welding Expo, students receive certificates as awards for participation. Also, the Outstanding Welding Student Award is given out that evening. Miller Electric and Matheson Valley Gases Inc. provide a welding jacket, automatic darkening welding helmet, and other tools the student will use to begin his/her career in welding as an incentive to keep students interested in the welding field as they near graduation.

Results / Impact

Some great benefits result from this partnership as local businesses see what the students are learning and provide information to students about potential employment. The representatives from Miller Electric and Matheson Valley Gases Inc. spend the entire day interacting with the students and their families in promoting this engaging event.


Jeff Tech

Barry Fillman, Administrative Director
Email: BWFillman@jefftech.us