Lincoln-Way East welding instructor Daymon Gast has recently been awarded a $14,800 grant through a partnership with SkillsUSA and Lowes to fund improvements to the welding lab.  The grant will fund the purchase of five different welding machines that will further enhance the classroom experience for Lincoln-Way welding students.

These additions will allow students to familiarize themselves with an assortment of welding machines that they may encounter as either homeowners or as professionals in the industry. “The smaller, entry level, 120V machines are similar to ones they may purchase for at-home use, while the engine-driven, generator-type welders will expose students to outdoor welding in real working conditions,” said Gast. Overall, the grant creates new opportunities for the more than 80 students currently enrolled at Lincoln-Way East in welding to better utilize time and space during class.

Lincoln-Way also hosts adult education classes, including 5-week long training courses and seminars available for public employees requiring training in hot work, during which these new machines will also have an impact.

“I can’t wait to see how the students will react to having an outdoor welding lab.  I don’t think there is any other opportunity like this for high school students anywhere in the state,” said Gast, who is in his first year as the head advisor for Lincoln-Way East Skills USA.  “This is a real feather in the cap for me, and I am excited about the impact it will have.  My students helped me to achieve this grant.  It just goes to show that we have a real special thing going on here with welding.”