IAI students earn awards in arc welding competition

Courtesy Photo Industrial Arts Institute students recently earned awards and national recognition competing in the prestigious 2020 James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Competition.

ONAWAY — Students at the Industrial Arts Institute (IAI) have honed their welding skills over the past six months and have had more than their fair share of trials to overcome in the uncertain times that we live in.

IAI takes pride in producing workforce ready welders in 19 weeks. A typical Comprehensive Industrial Welding class runs from January through mid-May, however because of COVID-19 and a six-week shutdown, these students have had to wait until July 29th to complete their course. 

After spending nearly two months off, the students came back to class (following CDC guidelines) to a whole new world, face masks, social distancing, and a campus that was locked down once they arrived. This brought a whole new set of complications and challenges while trying to learn their new craft.

But in the face of all this adversity, and with encouragement from their instructor Cody Tohm, they worked diligently to complete their Fabrication/Welding projects that are a key part of the core curriculum at IAI. Then these students went above and beyond and strived to meet the July 15th deadline for the James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation Competition.  

“I cannot begin to express how proud I am of all the students in this cohort,” Tohm said. “Our students have overcome trials unbeknown to anyone in the past 100 years and I am are very proud of their hard work, dedication and success in this competition.”

Tohm is an IAI instructor, Certified Welding Inspector, and Welding Engineer.

This is the first cohort of students from IAI that have entered projects into this prestigious competition, that spans five categories ranging from high school to graduate thesis and includes awards for outstanding instructors. Typically, there are three prize categories for each division: National, Sculpture, and Merit.

The following are the results for the Industrial Arts Institute project submissions and their Division II category placings.

National Gold 

Project: “Crispy Charcoal Grill” 

Participants: Quin Fitzpatrick, Andrew Lahaie, Gabe McNiel, and Ben Coveyou  

Prize: $1,000, and two Lincoln 110v Welders 

National Silver

Project: Welding Cart 

Participant: Nathaniel Merritt 

Prize: $500, and two Auto Darkening Hoods 

National Bronze

Project: Off Road Jeep XJ Bumper 

Participant: Sean Morton 

Prize: $250 


Project: “Tootie the Turtle” 

Participants: Dwight Ayers, Jessica Needham

Prize: $1,000.

About Industrial Arts Institute 

The Industrial Arts Institute is licensed by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), a Veteran Approved Training Facility and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, offering a premier comprehensive welding program that prepares students for successful & rewarding careers in the industry. Most employers will agree that it takes more than talent to excel in the workplace. IAI programs provide students with the support, knowledge and hands-on application to become qualified and employable in the welding industry.  

Mission Statement

To develop and inspire a noble workforce by combining innovative education with time honored training to connect talent with professional skilled trades industries.

For more information about Industrial Arts Institute, visit iaiworks.com.


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