An altruistic effort has been helping Pickaway-Ross Welding students for roughly 20 years.

      At Westerman Inc. in the village of Bremen, used metal sheets are donated to Tommy Collier’s lab.

      “The donations we get from Westerman allow students to practice the welding techniques they’ll use on the job,” Tommy said. 

      Brian Call, Westerman production supervisor, said in addition to Pickaway-Ross, used sheets are donated to other area schools. Similar to dough used to make cutout cookies, Westerman donates pieces of material that have been sheared out.

      The pieces, Brian said, “are corners of a big sheet of steel. We make circular heads for our storage tanks and those are the pieces that are just basically a scrap piece and you can't use it for anything else. We can use them for small parts and pieces, but we have an abundance of them.”

      Craig Jones, the career center’s Facilities manager, said he sends one of his staff members to Bremen three times a year to pick up the sheets.

      “We get four skids (each trip) and each skid weighs about 1,500 pounds,” he said. “It’s great for us. I can’t imagine how much that saves.”

      But the lifecycle of the metal sheet doesn’t end at Pickaway-Ross. There are, like cookie dough, still leftover metal pieces that are collected by Welding students and returned to Westerman.    

      “We put (the pieces) into our scrap to reimburse us for those plates that we would have normally scrapped,” Brian said.

      Brian said he thinks the partnership Westerman has with schools is unique.

      “We like to help out the community,” he said, and the partnership introduces students to the company as a potential employer.

     To thank Westerman, Welding students designed a bench that is now in the company’s lobby.