News Release

Published on Monday, December 17, 2007

Chart Energy and Chemicals (A division of Chart Industries) today presented Western Technical College with a $50,000 endowment to set up scholarships for welding students. The endowment will be used to provide two $1,000 and one $500 scholarships annually to students pursuing Western’s one-year Welding technical diploma.

“Welding is one of the manufacturing careers that is experiencing skilled worker shortages,” said Lee Rasch, president of Western Technical College. “We are pleased that Chart Energy and Chemicals is partnering with Western to help meet this need. The scholarships will provide an incentive for people to take a closer look at this occupation.”

“Welding is not the same as it was 20 years ago. It is much more technical with the widespread use of inverter power sources and requires a specific set of skills, especially with the advances in primary weld processes,” said Ron Bell, senior principal welding engineer at Chart E&C. “The Western graduates we have hired are always ahead of the curve in motivation, knowledge of weld processes, and dedication to making welding a rewarding and satisfying career choice.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the hiring of Western graduates over the years,” added Joel Guberud, vice president of manufacturing at Chart E&C. “We are hoping that this endowment will allow even more students to take advantage of the exceptional training offered by the dedicated faculty and state of the art equipment at Western.”

Chart Energy and Chemicals is an independent global manufacturer of highly engineered equipment used at cryogenic temperatures for the production, storage, and end-use of hydrocarbon and industrial gases. Their La Crosse facility employs about 500 personnel total, with approximately 380 employees working in the shop, including 120 welders.

For information about programs and services at Western Technical College, call 608.785.9200 or visit the Web site at