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Calhoun Welding Program Nationally Recognized as Regional Accredited Test Facility

May 13, 2015

The Welding program at Calhoun Community College recently earned accreditation as an Accredited Test Facility (ATF) by the American Welding Society (AWS).

“To achieve this notable recognition, Calhoun’s Welding program underwent an intense audit evaluation process conducted by the AWS,” commented Calhoun Welding instructor Zeb Ferguson. The AWS ATF program establishes minimum requirements for test facilities, their personnel and equipment to qualify for accreditation to test and qualify welders. ATFs play an integral part in the operation of the AWS Certified Welding program and have proven that they have the necessary resources to test welders to this nationally recognized and accepted program. 

ATFs receive valuable recognition: they are listed on the AWS website for those who need to certify welders and are also advertised in the award-winning Welding Journal magazine. Entrusting welder certification to ATF specialists makes good business sense for contractors and fabricators. Employers can validate a potential candidate’s skill level through credentials. This gives them a competitive advantage over their peers when seeking greater employment opportunities, commented Willie LaFavor of Contractor Service & Fabrication, Inc. 

Companies are increasingly realizing the shortcomings of self-qualification and switching to AWS ATFs to test and qualify their welders. "This is a great way for companies to streamline their welding certification process and eliminate issues with self-qualifying employees," said Brent Jacobs, Industrial Training Project Manager for Calhoun Workforce Solutions.

ATFs assist companies in saving money, improving productivity, and reducing liability by entrusting their welder certification to the experts. Calhoun is one of the only AWS testing centers in the Tennessee Valley region which allows our students, as well as local industry to obtain nationally recognized credentials through the American Welding Society. 

For more information on Calhoun’s Accredited Test Facility call 256-260-4310.  


The American Welding Society (AWS) was founded in 1919, as a nonprofit organization with a global mission to advance the science, technology and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes, including brazing, soldering and thermal spraying. AWS strives to move the industry forward in both thought and action, as well as inspire new generations to see the exciting career opportunities available today. 

Uniting the Welding Industry

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, and led by a volunteer organization of officers and directors, AWS serves over 70,000 members worldwide and is composed of 22 Districts with 250 Sections and student chapters. The Society is dedicated to supporting hundreds of thousands of industry professionals, including: welders, business leaders, sales and service teams, manufacturers, vendors, associations, educational institutions, committee volunteers, and students. We connect welding communities from around the world into a collaborative force, built on a foundation of higher standards; advanced learning; and rewarding growth.