bcc weldingPHOTO: Students hone their welding skills during a free training program hosted by Brookdale Community College in the summer of 2015. Photo by Brookdale Community College.

LINCROFT, NJ – Brookdale and Ocean County community colleges will partner to host a free welding training program for area residents from April 15 to June 20 in Toms River.

The 171-hour program, open to unemployed individuals with a high school diploma or equivalency degree, 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.

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 also offers job placement assistance.

All interested candidates must register for and attend one of two upcoming information sessions, held on March 16 in Lincroft and March 24 in Toms River. Attendees must bring an updated resume. To register or for more information visit www.brookdalecc.edu/freetraining or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the welding industry is expected to grow by 15 percent between 2010 and 2020, adding an estimated 50,000 new positions.

“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.”

The training program is funded by a national emergency grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.