StrataTech Education Group Awards Three Full-Tuition Scholarships To High School Seniors Pursuing Skilled Trades Education

Scholarships were given to the winners of national ‘Weld-to-Win’ welding competitions at Tulsa Welding School campuses in Tulsa, Jacksonville and Houston

Phoenix, May 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- StrataTech Education Group, a leading operator of skilled trade schools, awarded full-tuition scholarships to three high school students who competed and won Tulsa Welding School’s ‘Weld-to-Win' welding competition. Each of the three competitions invited high school seniors from across the country who have completed a class in welding at a vocational or high school to compete for an opportunity to earn a full-tuition scholarship for a welding program at their local Tulsa Welding School (TWS) campus. Winners included:

  • Isaac Venzor, senior at Dumas High School in Dumas, TX
  • Gabriel Juarez, senior at May River High School in Bluffton, SC
  • Luis Gonzaelz, senior at Longview High School in Longview, TX

The competitions took place between February and March at each of the three existing TWS Campuses in Houston, Jacksonville and Tulsa. More than 655 students from across the country competed across all three competitions, which tested them on a variety of skills including stick welding and blueprint reading. Partial scholarships were also awarded to second and third-place winners and each participant received $500 scholarship to assist with tuition fees at any of StrataTech’s five campuses, including Tulsa Welding School, Tulsa Welding School & Technology Center in Houston, Tulsa Welding School in Jacksonville and The Refrigeration School, Inc. Miller Electric Mfg. served as a sponsor of the event and provided participants who finished in the top tier with prizes including welding hoods, gloves and other supplies to support their training.

“The students at our competitions showed incredible talent,” said Mary Kelly, President and CEO of StrataTech Education Group. “The competition was fierce and shows a lot of promise for the future of the skilled trades industry. StrataTech is committed to helping high school students who are interested in a career in the skilled trades learn about the opportunities available to them as skilled trades professionals.”

The Refrigeration School, Inc. (RSI) in Phoenix sponsored a similar competition earlier this year geared toward Native American students. The annual Skills NATIVE competition, hosted by Northeast Arizona Technological Institute of Vocational Education (NATIVE), invites Native American students from eight Arizona high schools to compete in a variety of skills competitions. Shandiin Begay, a senior at Pinon High School on the Navajo Nation, took first place in the individual welding competition and received a full-tuition scholarship for the Welding Specialist diploma program at RSI. Students Coby Watchman, Taylor Begay and Nakayo Keams of Window Rock High School placed first in the fabrication team category and each also received a full-tuition scholarship to RSI. 

The ‘Weld-to-Win’ competitions are a part of StrataTech’s larger efforts to support high school seniors by providing opportunities, awareness and resources to help them pursue training and careers as skilled trades professionals. At RSI and TWS campuses, students can find a number of resources to help them pursue their education including financial resources such as scholarships, grants and financial aid for those who qualify, housing assistance, part-time job assistance and career services to help them find a job post-graduation. Instructors who have worked in the field act as mentors for students and campus ambassadors are on-site to help students navigate the transition from high school to career.

A critical labor shortage is currently affecting the skilled trades A critical labor shortage is currently affecting the skilled trades industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2021 to 2031, the welding industry is projected to grow 2% with 428,00 jobs, the HVAC/R industry is projected to grow 5% with 20,200 jobs, and the electrical industry is projected to grow 7% with 50,200 jobs. Interest in skilled trades has also increased among high school students and Generation Z in recent years. According to a survey from StrataTech, over 80% of high school students view a career in the skilled trades positively. Additionally, enrollment in construction trade schools across the country increased 19.3% from spring 2021 to spring 2022, according to National Student Clearinghouse.

Each TWS campus and RSI offer dedicated admissions teams who can assist students who may be interested in enrolling in a program post-high school. Students can tour their local campus and learn more about financial aid assistance, housing assistance near campus, part-time job assistance and career services for post-graduation career opportunities. For more information on training for careers in welding, HVAC, refrigeration or electrical applications, please visit or


About Tulsa Welding School  
Tulsa Welding School (TWS) was founded in 1949 in Tulsa, Oklahoma and has trained thousands of individuals to become entry level professionals in the skilled trades for more than 70 years. Students learn hands-on, technical competencies and skills through labs, virtual reality and classroom instruction, with a curriculum designed to meet employers’ needs. TWS offers welding, HVAC/R and electrical programs.  There are four TWS campuses across the country including Tulsa Welding School in Tulsa, Tulsa Welding School in Jacksonville, Tulsa Welding School & Technology Center in Houston, and Tulsa Welding School near Dallas. Accredited Schools, ACCSC. Licensed by OBPVS, approved and regulated by TWC, and licensed by Florida CIE (License #2331). For more information, visit or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.  
About The Refrigeration School, Inc.
The Refrigeration School, Inc. (RSI) was founded in Phoenix in 1965 and has been training students for sustainable HVAC careers for more than 60 years. Offering hands-on education with a strong emphasis on the highly sought-after electrical skills, diagnostic and mechanical technology proficiency employers seek, RSI’s programs include Electrical Applications, Refrigeration Technologies, Electro-Mechanical Technologies (HVAC-R), AOS in Mechanical Maintenance Engineering, and Welding Specialist. RSI is an ACCSC accredited school and licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Post-Secondary Education. For more information, visit or follow along on Facebook and Twitter

About StrataTech Education Group  
StrataTech Education Group focuses on the education, growth and development of specialized career education schools, particularly skilled-trade programs designed to address the nation’s growing infrastructure needs. Holding an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, StrataTech Education Group’s portfolio includes The Refrigeration School, Inc. (RSI) (Phoenix), Tulsa Welding School (TWS) (Tulsa, OK), Tulsa Welding School (Jacksonville, FL), Tulsa Welding School & Technology Center (Houston, TX) and Tulsa Welding School (near Dallas, TX). For more information, visit  


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