Sept. 27, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wharton County Junior College Instructor of Welding Sean Franco has received the 2023 Excellence in Welding Award (Veteran category) from the American Welding Society. Pictured, from left to right, are Franco and Bob Ranc, President of the Welding Equipment Manufacturers Committee (WEMCO).
WHARTON, TEXAS – Wharton County Junior College Welding Instructor Sean Franco has received the 2023 Excellence in Welding Award (Veteran category) from the American Welding Society (AWS).
Franco, a full-time welding instructor for WCJC, was chosen for the award by AWS’s Welding Equipment Manufacturers Committee (WEMCO). According to the AWS website, the committee recognizes “individuals and organizations that are instrumental in raising the image of welding and strengthening the industry, and have shown exemplary dedication to promoting the image of welding in their communities.”
This year’s recipients were honored at the Excellence in Welding Awards ceremony, held on Sept. 13 in Chicago, IL. Franco was chosen as the 2023 recipient in the veteran category. Franco was a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army, stationed at Fort Hood in Texas for eight years. He did two tours in Iraq (2007-2009 and 2010-2011) and was medically discharged after being injured by a roadside bomb in 2011. He received a Purple Heart for his injuries.
Franco is a WCJC alumni, graduating from the Welding Program in 2015. After working in industry, he returned to the college in 2017 as a part-time instructor under Welding Program Director Aaron Dittmar. Franco later obtained the necessary certifications to become a full-time instructor.
Franco says he enjoys mentoring his students and guiding them to become successful in their chosen career.
“Seeing any student graduate and start a new career in welding for themselves or for their family makes being an instructor here at WCJC all worth it,” he said. “Every student that goes through this program helps me become a better instructor for all future students.”
Dittmar credits Franco with putting in the time and effort required to ensure his students succeed.
“Sean is constantly working to improve his craft for the benefit of making the students better welders upon graduation,” Dittmar said.
Winning the national award was quite an honor, Franco said.
“Being selected in the veteran category out of a large number of other veterans in the country truly is a blessing,” he said. “This award gives me more of a drive to become an even better instructor for all future students.”