LEEPS Program

Lincoln Electric Education Partner Schools (LEEPS): A Quantum Step Forward for Welding Educators

As the manufacturing sector moves further into the 21st century, demands on welders for increased productivity, precision and efficiency are greater than ever before. With employers looking for welding personnel who can demonstrate unprecedented skill and knowledge levels, educators need to know how to train up-and-coming welders to be responsive to these demands.

Lincoln Electric has been helping to build a highly skilled welding workforce for more than a century. We know it’s not just a matter of teaching students how to weld, but also building an educational infrastructure that develops effective, fully certified welding instructors to teach those students.

Lincoln Electric Education Partner Schools (LEEPS) is a multi-tiered program that teaches welding instructors at every level of education – from junior high school to technical college and beyond. In each track, participating schools earn Lincoln Electric qualifications and other benefits by meeting specific program requirements.

LEEPS keeps instructors current and relevant within the welding industry because it includes a professional development system integrated into the program. This is a value to both instructors and administrators at participating schools.

The welding industry will need skilled and knowledgeable welders in the years and decades ahead. Lincoln Electric is developing the education sector that will train them. LEEPS is the critical component in the ongoing process of preparing educators for the future of welding.

Track 1: Exploring Welding

Track 1 of the LEEPS program is aimed at welding educators whose students are still in the exploratory phase of learning how to weld. This segment of the program targets welding schools and instructors at the agricultural program, junior high and high school levels. Welding is a new concept for students at this track, and may not be a career goal. For educators operating at this track, the program includes some basic requirements and offers some attractive professional development and certification benefits.

Track 1 Requirements for Participating Schools and Instructors or Beyond the Booth (BYB) seminar:

  • Welding instructors must participate in a Welding Educators Workshop (WEW) or Beyond the Booth (BYB) seminar, either at the Lincoln Electric Welding Technology & Training Center in Cleveland, OH, or at one of the company’s regional facilities. (Regional facilities include any welding schools participating in LEEPS at Track 3.)
  • Welding instructor is a registered and active user of U/LINC® Curriculum, the Lincoln Electric online welding and cutting learning management system.
  • Welding instructor must pass the Instructor’s Safety Exam in the U/LINC® Curriculum.
  • Welding instructor must pass the SMAW and GMAW process examinations from the U/LINC® Curriculum.
  • Active use of Lincoln Electric’s Education and Resource Portal.

Track 1 Benefits to Participating School and Instructors:

  • A week-long welding teacher certification and professional development class at Lincoln Electric’s Cleveland headquarters, free of charge.
  • Authorization to reference the school’s LEEPS program participation on the school web site and recruitment materials. Lincoln Electric will in turn reference the school on its educational web site as an authorized LEEPS program participating school.
  • One week of Lincoln Electric Welding School instruction per year, free of charge. Course and course track (introductory, intermediate, advanced) chosen by participant.
  • Discounts on AWS certification tests.
  • Discounts on participation in the AWS SENSE program.
  • Following completion of the Lincoln Electric welding safety, SMAW and GMAW U/LINC® Curriculum examinations, participating instructors receive a Lincoln Electric welding jacket with an Education Partners patch as well as Welding Safety, SMAW and GMAW process tab patches.

Track 2: Intermediate Training

The second and third tracks of the LEEPS program build on the foundation laid in the first. They take welding schools and instructors past the exploratory aspect of welding and into the area of career development and advancement. Track 2 is the intermediate tier, tailored to the needs of high school and career center educators and programs.

Track 2 Requirements:

All the requirements of Track 1, plus the following:

  • Welding instructors must participate in EITHER Beyond the Booth, a seminar that introduces instructors to classroom strategies and teaching tools aimed at helping them become better educators, OR the Welding Educators Workshop (WEW), intended to provide instructors with an introduction to correct safety and welding practices for every process.
  • Welding instructor must pass one additional U/LINC® Curriculum welding process examination of their choice.
  • Welding instructors must participate in a professional development class of the instructor’s choosing at Lincoln Electric’s Cleveland headquarters.
  • Welding instructors must hold or obtain two or more AWS certifications.
  • Welding instructors must participate in a Lincoln Electric Welding Enhancement and Learning Development Seminar (WELDS) once every three years. (WELD combines many of the elements of the Welding Educators Workshop and the Beyond the Booth seminar.)

Track 2 Benefits:

All the benefits of Track 1, plus the following:

  • An additional week of free welding training at Lincoln Electric’s Cleveland headquarters.
  • Schools receive a free Lincoln book set from the James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation.
  • Welding instructors will receive a tab patch for every Lincoln Electric U/LINC® Curriculum process examination passed.
  • Upon completion of all Track 2 requirements, each welding instructor will receive a Track 2 Instructor patch.

Track 3: Higher Education

The career development track continues at Track 3, and focuses on advanced manufacturing and processes. Welding programs at this track are generally tailored to the needs of community colleges and technical colleges. This track facilitates training in all welding processes covered in the first two tracks, but also encompasses robotic programming and welding, CNC plasma cutting, introduction to engineering and more.

Schools that meet all requirements of Track 3 may apply to become a Lincoln Electric Authorized Training Facility.

Track 3 Requirements:

All the requirements of Tracks 1 & 2, plus the following:

  • One welding instructor from the participating school must maintain or obtain one or more of the following AWS certifications: a CWI (Certified Welding Inspector), CWE (Certified Welding Educator) or CRAW (Certified Robotic Arc Welder) certification.

Track 3 Benefits:

All benefits of Tracks 1 & 2, plus the following:

  • The school is authorized to host Lincoln Electric welding educator conferences and train-the-trainer workshops and seminars with all profits benefiting the school.

The Next Step Forward

Lincoln Electric maintains its longstanding commitment to being a good steward for the welding industry. As part of this commitment, we are dedicated to developing a cadre of certified welding educators who will usher in the next generation of highly skilled welders.

The LEEPS program is the next step forward in this ongoing mission. Take the step with us and be part of another century of excellence in welding education.

The business of The Lincoln Electric Company® is manufacturing and selling high-quality welding equipment, consumables, and cutting equipment. Our challenge is to meet the needs of our customers and to exceed their expectations. On occasion, purchasers may ask Lincoln Electric for information or advice about their use of our products. Our employees respond to inquiries to the best of their ability based on information provided to them by the customers and the knowledge they may have concerning the application. Our employees, however, are not in a position to verify the information provided or to evaluate the engineering requirements for the particular weldment. Accordingly, Lincoln Electric does not warrant or guarantee or assume any liability with respect to such information or advice. Moreover, the provision of such information or advice does not create, expand, or alter any warranty on our products. Any express or implied warranty that might arise from the information or advice, including any implied warranty of merchantability or any warranty of fitness for any customers’ particular purpose is specifically disclaimed.

Lincoln Electric is a responsive manufacturer, but the selection and use of specific products sold by Lincoln Electric is solely within the control of, and remains the sole responsibility of the customer. Many variables beyond the control of Lincoln Electric affect the results obtained in applying these types of fabrication methods and service requirements.

Subject to Change – This information is accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time this web site was published.