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The Base Metal & Bond

Creating economic sustainability through the craftsmanship of welding for NYC youth and Military Veterans.

The American Welding Academy is a response to the lack of vocational education for urban youth. While applauded, college is not a desire or suited for everyone; unfortunately urban youth are not connected to sustainable opportunities through trade jobs. This is also an issue for veterans who are unable to receive tuition assistance. Despite shifts in the labor market due to technological advancements, the demand for skilled trades is still high and seeking able bodied employees. The American Welding Academy is committed to training and developing urban youth and Military Veterans in through affordable programming.

  • Unemployment among youth ages 16-19 is 32% avg.

  • Unemployment among ages 20-24 is 16% avg.

  • Over 320k Veterans are unemployed in the USA with little to no education aid for college or vocational education.

  • A Welder can make  $60K a year  or more through a company or contract job.

 Through  our programs  we will be able to contribute to the economic change in disenfranchised communities that have high rates of unemployment, incarceration, and homelessness.

The programs are offered to low-income youth and veterans free of charge. However we also offer these programs to those who can afford it. Both will be able to get the education they need to create sustainability. 

Our efforts will be supported by partnerships and direct instruction from the founder for all welding courses.

We all have the capacity to be the catalyst of change. Whether you stop at welding or move on we’re here to help you start your success.


Andre' Williams, has spent the last twenty years as a business owner and leader who has grown various businesses across multiple construction trades. He has worked as a superintendent, supervisor, foreman, pipe fitter, and pipe welder in the industrial field. Mr. Williams is trained and certified in tile, marble, and terrazzo; landscape and hardscape; pipefitting and welding; as well as being a fully licensed and bonded general contractor. He is an active member of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States & Canada (UA). With over 14 United Association (UA) certifications, he is an expert welder with more than 11 years of experience in the pipe welding industry. He is personally accomplished in and has deep expertise training all major welding processes, including GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding); SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc Welding); GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding); and FCAW (flux-cored arc welding). As a welding instructor and certified OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 instructor, Mr. Williams has taught the welding trade to apprentices and journeymen for the past five years at his local trade union. He has knowledge and experience in welder training and classroom instruction as an American Welding Society Certified Welding Educator (CWE). As a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI), Mr. Willaims receives ongoing training and development through the United Association Instructor Training Program at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, MI. Mr. William's career is matched by his deep commitment to community development and volunteerism. He has mentored urban youth of all ages and volunteered to teach horticulture to members of the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem in partnership with the Municipal Arts Society of NY and the National Parks Service. He is passionate about creating economic empowerment through the development of trade skills. He is committed to translating his personal success and expertise as a welding instructor to train out of school and underemployed groups in the art of welding.


The Board will support the work of the American Welding Academy and provide mission-based leadership and strategic governance. While day-to-day operations will be eventually led by American Welding Academy’s Executive Director, the Board-Executive Director relationship is a partnership, and the appropriate involvement of the Board is both critical and expected.

Please click below to view the Board Member Application that will include and overview of duties and committees, followed by the application. 

Thank you for your commitment to creating a better future for urban youth and veterans.