After completing 200 hours of welding training and an additional 20 hours of basic construction training, 17 students were recognized for completing the Structural Construction course on October 3 at Brookdale Community College.

The students passed the American Welding Society (AWS) SENSE (Schools Excelling through National Skills Standards Education) Level 1 program offered by Brookdale’s Office of Continuing and Professional Studies (CPS).

“Brookdale’s mission is to provide affordable and excellent educational and lifelong learning opportunities that lead to clear pathways to economic and personal success,” said Dr. David Stout, president of Brookdale. “I think this is a prime example of providing opportunities that lead to both economic and personal success.”

“You have made a very smart choice,” said President Stout. “You are going into a profession where you are meeting a demand and solving real-life problems,” he said.

“You have made the right choice,” said Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders Director Thomas Arnone. “The trades and this program here are vital to the success of Brookdale and Monmouth County.”

“We are very proud to have a diverse group of men and women who have completed the program,” said Dr. Joan Scocco, dean of Continuing and Professional Studies. She explained four of the 17 students have already found employment after completing the program, and CPS is working with the other students to find job placement opportunities. “We have employers at the ready, so we fully expect to help all of you find job placement,” she said to the students.

Ariana Cafolla, one of the students who completed the program, intends on attending Ocean Corporation in Houston, Texas to study underwater welding. While she was initially an art major, Carolla decided to study welding as a way of getting into fabrication. During the course of the welding training program, she realized underwater welding would combine her love of the ocean with her artistic abilities. After she receives certification in underwater welding, she said she would like to find employment working on canals or ships or even anchoring bridges. “I’m going to still be an artist, but this is a way of combining that with my love of the ocean,” Carolla said.