Hypertherm, a U.S. based manufacturer of industrial cutting systems and software, is now accepting applications for its Spark Something Great educational grant program. The program, now in its eighth year, will provide 12 North American schools with a Powermax45 XP air plasma system and in-person training from a Hypertherm product expert.
The Spark Something Great grant program is meant to support the next generation of welders and metal fabricators by making the newest generation of plasma cutting equipment and standardized instruction available to schools. To date, the company has awarded systems to 76 schools. This year applications are due on or before April 1 with grant decisions communicated by May 2. More information, including instructions for applying, is available at hypertherm.com/grant.
“The current skills gap and labor shortage has placed increased demand on North American vocational schools,” says Betsy Van Duyne, who manages Hypertherm’s educational program. “An influx of new students coupled with teacher shortages mean you have fewer instructors teaching more students without a corresponding increase in equipment. We’ve encountered numerous programs in which dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of students are forced to share a single system. Our program hopes to help those schools by providing a versatile system instructors can use to teach handheld and mechanized cutting, as well as applications such as gouging, flush cutting and marking.”
In addition to the grant program, Hypertherm will continue to make all ten hours of its AWS SENSE approved Plasma Cutting Technology: Theory and Practice curriculum available for free download to teachers. The curriculum covers the plasma cutting process, common industrial uses for plasma systems, the differences between various cutting methods, safety procedures, as well as proper setup and operation. Electronic versions of each lesson, a facilitator’s guide, student workbook, and supporting reference material are all available at www.hypertherm.com/plasmaeducation.
Hypertherm engineers and manufactures industrial cutting products used by companies around the world to build ships, airplanes, and railcars, construct steel buildings, manufacture heavy equipment, and more. Its products include cutting systems, CNCs, and software trusted for performance and reliability that result in increased productivity and profitability for hundreds of thousands of businesses. Founded in 1968 and based in New Hampshire, Hypertherm is a 100 percent Associate owned company, employing more than 1,800 Associates, with operations and partner representation worldwide.