University News

WIU Students in Agriculture, Engineering Tech to Benefit from Welding Equipment Grant from Lincoln Electric Company

October 29, 2013

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MACOMB, IL — Western Illinois University is among the first institutions, and one of only six from across the United States, to receive a Welding Education Grant from the Lincoln Electric Company.

According to Bart Gill, assistant professor in agriculture, the grant will provide Western's School of Agriculture, as well as the WIU Department of Engineering Technology, with seven different welders and a CNC plasma-cutting table. The grant will provide equipment and supplies worth more than $27,000, he said.

"Jason Scales, an education specialist at Lincoln Electric, unveiled the grant at the American Association of Agricultural Educators Conference in May. The purpose of the grant is to increase welding education through agricultural education," Gill explained. "This grant allows us to upgrade our welding shop to meet industry standards and better prepare our students to enter the welding industry or the agricultural-education classroom. It will also enable us to host professional-development workshops for current agricultural educators, as well as conduct other forms of outreach for welding education."

Gill added the outreach provided to teachers and youth organizations will serve as additional recruitment opportunities, with the hopes of obtaining more prospective students from those exposed to Western during the outreach workshops.

The grant application was a combined effort among faculty in the WIU School of Agriculture, including Andy Baker, interim chair, and Gill, as well as faculty in the WIU Department of Engineering Technology, including Brent Payne, professor, and Kevin Hall, associate professor.

For more information, contact Gill at

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