Recent area high school grad wins thousands in welding school scholarships

Recent Butler Tech graduate Morgan Robinson said her love of welding was ignited years ago when she visited the career school’s program as a junior high student.

Now Robinson’s passion has sparked her pursuit of professional training that has seen her earn thousands of dollars in scholarship funds for advanced welding and certification training in one of the nation’s fastest growing employment fields.

The 18-year-old Madison High School and Butler Tech’s Welding Technology program graduate recently learned she was one of only four recipients to win a $2,500 international metal supplier Metal Supermarkets’ inaugural Trade School Scholarship.

And Friday it was announced Robinson was also one of 32 winners of a $1,000 scholarship from the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program and The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Foundation. The former Madison Mohawk athlete, who played varsity soccer and softball this last school year, will soon be attending professional training and certification classes in Troy, Ohio at the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology.

“I was surprised about it. And it’s really cool and with these scholarships I was able to pay off the rest of my (welding) school,” said Robinson.

As an 8th grader participating in Butler Tech’s many career exploration days offered to Butler County public school students, Robinson discovered her curiosity about welding.

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“I really wasn’t interested in college and so I was looking for a trade and when I saw the welding class I thought ‘this is really cool.’”

She was one of only three girls in the welding program at the time but she said the boys were welcoming and helpful during her high school classes.

“It was a really great experience,” she said.

And potentially profitable as a career.

In recent years American industries have scrambled to fill welding jobs and with the proper training and experience – and a willingness to travel – in just a few years, young welders can earn close to $100,000 annually.

According to the American Welding Society, the industry will encounter a shortage of about 300,000 welders by 2024.

And officials with the group said the average age of a welder today is around 55, which means the continuing retirements of baby boomers will leave the country with a substantial deficit in skilled welders.

George Brown, Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program executive director, said: “These scholarship recipients are a prominent group of students, and we are excited to see the contributions they will make to the industry and our state.”

Scholarships are awarded to students interested in obtaining training certifications and associates or bachelors degrees in relevant fields of study. Post graduate job opportunities include exciting careers such as welder, petroleum engineer, geologist, construction technician and more.

In about five years, she hopes to earn professional credits toward being a professional weld inspector and even more lucrative line of work.

“I’m very pleased with welding and I have a lot of pride in my work,” said Robinson. “It’s good that I enjoy it and getting money.”

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