Illinois welding teacher selected from more than 450 nominees
Miller Electric Mfg. LLC, a leading worldwide manufacturer of Miller brand arc welding equipment, is pleased to announce the winner of the Who’s Building You? contest. Daymon Gast, a certified welding instructor and SkillsUSA advisor at Lincoln-Way Central High School in New Lenox, Illinois, won the final public vote, receiving more than 75% of the votes registered for the three finalists. Gast was nominated by a former student, Codey Underwood.
Gast and Underwood will receive Miller prize packages with a combined value of more than $30,000, including an AugmentedArc welding system for Gast and a Multimatic 215 multiprocess welder for Underwood. Gast, who organizes and hosts a district-wide welding competition each year, is looking forward to adding the new system to his classroom.
“I am excited for my students to utilize the augmented reality welding system for its capability of instant feedback on work and travel angle, electrode manipulation, travel speed and arc gap,” Gast says. “The fact that the system can generate a custom report for the individual student in MIG, TIG and stick is going to be very helpful.”
Underwood, a 2018 graduate of Lincoln-Way Central High School, is now a first-year apprentice with Chicago Pipefitters Local 597. He says Gast has a passion for helping his students succeed.
“He was my welding instructor for three years, and I can say without a doubt that he made welding my favorite and most meaningful class while at Lincoln-Way,” Underwood wrote in his winning essay. “Mr. Gast saw something in me that others did not, and he taught me how to persevere and to be successful at work. For this I am thankful.”
“It’s exciting to honor two such deserving people and help them along in their respective careers,” says Jessica Marhefke, Welding Education & Workforce Development at Miller. “If Daymon and Codey are any indication, the future of the welding industry is in good hands. And Miller is proud to be a part of it.”
The Who’s Building You? contest is part of the Miller Building a Welder program. This initiative is focused on introducing individuals to welding as a career option, as well as inspiring and encouraging students and teachers. Building a Welder is just one way that Miller is helping grow both the welding workforce and passion for the craft.