LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In a continuing effort to ensure America has the highly skilled workforce needed to compete in today's global economy, Air Products (NYSE: APD) and the American Welding Society (AWS) are jointly establishing a $50,000 scholarship program to help enable women to develop the skills required to pursue technical careers. The "Air Products Women of Gases & Welding Scholarship" was introduced last evening during a reception sponsored by the Woman of Gases & Welding (WGW) at the FABTECH show in Las Vegas, Nev. The new scholarship was inspired by the WGW, an organization launched last year for the advocacy, recruitment, and professional development of females in the gases and welding industry. The program will be managed by the AWS, and the scholarship recipients will be selected by a committee. The first annual scholarship in the amount of $2,500 will be awarded in 2013 to a female pursing higher education in a welding or engineering discipline, who has proven to be an exceptional student and is eager to start her career in the industry. "We are excited about coming together with the AWS to provide this scholarship opportunity to women for the benefit of our industry," said Sue Reiter, regional distributor sales manager at Air Products and member of WGW's strategic committee. "This scholarship program supports not only Air Products' future employment needs, but also the creation of a workforce with the skills necessary to help companies compete in today's global economy." Air Products has been involved in promoting and supporting technical education for many years. The company's chairman, president, and CEO, John McGlade, has been a strong advocate for SkillsUSA, a national nonprofit that strives to provide a quality workforce in trade, technical, and skilled service occupations. In October 2010, McGlade was presented with the inaugural SkillsUSA CEO Champion of the Year award in recognition of his leadership and exemplary work in the creation and support of America's highly skilled workforce. About the American Welding Society The American Welding Society (AWS) was founded in 1919 as a multifaceted, nonprofit organization with a mission to advance the science, technology and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes worldwide including brazing, soldering, and thermal spraying. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, and led by a volunteer organization of officers and directors, AWS serves close to 70,000 members worldwide and is composed of 22 Districts with 250 Sections and student chapters. For more information, visit the society's website at www.aws.org and click on "Pressroom." About Air Products Air Products (NYSE: APD) provides atmospheric, process and specialty gases; performance materials; equipment; and technology. For over 70 years, the company has enabled customers to become more productive, energy efficient and sustainable. More than 20,000 employees in over 50 countries supply innovative solutions to the energy, environment and emerging markets. These include semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, coal gasification, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. In fiscal 2012, Air Products had sales approaching $10 billion. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com. NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management's reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company's Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2011.