HIWT Instructor Elmer Swank Receives AWS®/WEMCO Excellence in Welding Award

Elmer Swank, instructor at Hobart Institute of Welding Technology received the Excellence in Welding Award, Educator Category at the FABTECH show in Chicago, IL on November 13th.  Elmer is a 1969 graduate of Hobart Institute of Welding Technology.  He is an AWS® CWI®, CWE®, CWS®. He spent his first years of his welding experience in the procedure lab at Hobart Brothers.  In 1971, he came back to HIWT working in the certification lab.  In 1973, he became a Skill Training Instructor and has been teaching ever since.  In 1989, Elmer transferred and became a Technical Training Instructor teaching portions of the AWS® CWI class, and then the entire class where he has become one of the most well-known educators in the industry.  Elmer has taught every class offered at HIWT except two (which were not offered when he was a Skill Instructor).  Elmer wrote a column for Practical Welder Today called Ask Elmer for four years where he answered welding related questions to those who wrote in.  He continues teaching the CWI® class as well as other technical training classes.  Elmer believes teaching the AWS® CWI® class is his “real purpose” stating that it helps the welders he teaches serve the welding industry.  Elmer has dedicated his life to the instruction of welding, from teaching those who have never welded before to those who are advancing their careers by becoming a CWI® to those who live in the trenches of the welding industry.  Being in welding for half a century, Elmer states that the “innovation of modern welding” he has seen in the past 50 years excites him and he knows the field of welding will continue to evolve long after he is gone.   The consummate professional, Elmer wows his classes with his immense knowledge in the field, his experiences, and his ability to convey material in a manner students can understand and relate to.  Whether teaching TIG basic to a new welder or inspection to a seasoned professional, Elmer Swank has shaped the minds and skills of decades of welders. 

Scott Mazzulla, President/CEO of Hobart Institute states “Elmer’s straight forward low key demeanor has impressed thousands of students with his knowledge, wit and commitment.  We have often laughed at suggested comments about needing to record his teaching sessions or clone him, when the reality is there is no other Elmer Swank.  Over the course of his career he has stepped up to take on supervisory roles even though it was not in his comfort zone.  However in doing so it was amazing to see the respect he obtained from the team he led and the admiration of his team and students. He has stood in front of multiple large classes of CWI hopefuls for over 30 years preparing them for the rigors of a three part exam and it was not an easy task.  These classes of students are very experienced and diverse.  It certainly takes an extraordinary individual to offer and deliver a high level of student success.”

Chip Prinz, Director of Corporate Services believes Elmer Swank is definitely deserving of the AWS® 2019 Excellence in Welding Award – Educator Category.  He states “Elmer is the only one that I personally know that has helped, educated and positively affected so many students in welding related topics in such a professional manner, including myself”.