Advanced Welding Workforce Initiative

ARC Announces AWWI Awards

ARC and partners announced five grant awards for the Advanced Welding Workforce Initiative (AWWI), a partnership to invest $1 million in education and training for advanced technical workers in Appalachia.

The Advanced Welding Workforce Initiative (AWWI) is a partnership between ARC and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to increase education and training for advanced technical workers in Appalachia. Launched in 2020, AWWI supports training facilities and programs to develop and implement specialized curricula and learning modules in welding and other advanced manufacturing skills such as robotics and process control. This investment will prepare workers for in-demand jobs in the Region’s growing automotive, aerospace, aviation, and petrochemical industries. According to DOE, “petrochemical manufacturing currently in development in Appalachia is projected to attract between $16 billion and $20 billion in capital investment, and create more than 9,800 jobs directly and indirectly in Appalachia by 2025.”

In September 2020, ARC issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) via AWWI to:

  • Create a pipeline of qualified workers who can apply the latest high-temperature materials, manufacturing processes and service/repair techniques developed in DOE’s High Performance Materials program for use in the nation’s power generation infrastructure; 
  • Design and implement comprehensive training programs in advanced manufacturing for careers in the energy, automotive, aerospace, aviation and petrochemical industries; 
  • Enroll displaced workers, new entrants to the workforce, incumbent workers and individuals recovering from substance abuse disorders (for example, opioids, methamphetamine, heroin and other substances) into the programs;  
  • Align and integrate workforce development activities with existing state, regional and community economic development strategies as well as ARC’s current Strategic Investment Plan; and 
  • Specify the number of individuals anticipated to be served by the proposed training and include a system to track how many obtain new employment or enhance their current employment.  

For questions about this initiative, please email

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