Advanced Welding Workforce Initiative

The Advanced Welding Workforce Initiative (AWWI) is a partnership between ARC and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to increase education and training for advanced technical workers in Appalachia. Launched in 2020, AWWI supports training facilities and programs to develop and implement specialized curricula and learning modules in welding and other advanced manufacturing skills such as robotics and process control. This investment will prepare workers for in-demand jobs in the Region’s growing automotive, aerospace, aviation, and petrochemical industries.

Petrochemical manufacturing currently in development in Appalachia is projected to attract between $16 billion and $20 billion in capital investment, and create more than 9,800 jobs directly and indirectly in Appalachia by 2025.

U.S. department of Energy, june 2020

In September 2020, ARC issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) via AWWI to:

  • Create a pipeline of qualified workers who can apply the latest high-temperature materials, manufacturing processes and service/repair techniques developed in DOE’s High Performance Materials program for use in the nation’s power generation infrastructure; 
  • Design and implement comprehensive training programs in advanced manufacturing for careers in the energy, automotive, aerospace, aviation and petrochemical industries; 
  • Enroll displaced workers, new entrants to the workforce, incumbent workers and individuals recovering from substance abuse disorders (for example, opioids, methamphetamine, heroin and other substances) into the programs;  
  • Align and integrate workforce development activities with existing state, regional and community economic development strategies as well as ARC’s current Strategic Investment Plan; and 
  • Specify the number of individuals anticipated to be served by the proposed training and include a system to track how many obtain new employment or enhance their current employment.  

Request for Proposals

ARC is seeking applications for projects that will support the education and training of advanced technical workers in Appalachia. The workers will be training in skills necessary to join materials suitable for high-temperature applications in fossil-based power plants and other industries. The joining will include welding as well as other “advanced manufacturing” skills such as robotics and process control.

For questions about this initiative, please email

How to Apply

Grant applications follow ARC’s standard application policies and procedures. Application narratives are limited to 10 pages, single-spaced in length, plus a two-page executive summary, standard forms, detailed budget, and budget narrative.

Key Dates

September 21, 2020: Application Opens

November 13, 2020: Final Application Deadline (Submit to

Pre-Application Requirements


ARC grant applications require a DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number.
If you need a DUNS number, call the toll-free DUNS Number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or visit


All ARC grant applicants must have an active registration in SAM (System for Award Management). Register in SAM at

Application Resources

Application Guidance

ARC Administrative Resources

Additional Research and Data Resources