welding-bccStudents hone their welding skills during a free training program hosted by Brookdale Community College in 2015. (Photo by Brookdale Community College)

Press release from Brookdale Community College 

Jobless men and women can train in an in-demand trade at no cost, as Brookdale Community College co-hosts a free welding training program for area residents beginning in February.

Offered in partnership with Ocean County College, The 166-hour program is open to unemployed individuals with a high school diploma or equivalency degree. Training, which takes place from February 7 to March 30 at OCC’s campus in Toms River, will cover a wide range of hands-on skills and basic industry knowledge, including arc welding, welding fabrication, blueprint reading, resume writing and job search skills.

“Welders have a bright future in the years ahead,” said Brookdale business training manager James McCarthy. “So we are bringing in professional instructors and providing hands-on training to ensure our graduates are ready to get to work.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median wage for qualified welders was $18.34 per hour in 2015. The industry is expected to grow by nearly five percent between 2014 and 2024.

At the conclusion of the program, students will sit for an American Welding Society certification exam, after which they will be eligible for an entry-level position in the field. The training program, which is  funded by the federal Ready to Work grant program and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, also offers job placement assistance.

All interested candidates must register for and attend one of two upcoming information sessions. In Monmouth County, a session will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 18 (an additional session will be presented at OCC on Thursday, January 19). Attendees must bring an updated resume. To register or for more information, visit or email