LINCROFT, NJ (Jan. 9, 2017) – Brookdale and Ocean County community colleges will partner to host a free welding training program for area residents from Feb. 7 to March 30 in Toms River.

The 166-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 Jan. 18 at 10:30 am at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft and Jan. 19 at Ocean County College in Toms River. Attendees must bring an updated resume. To register or for more information visit or email

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.

“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 the federal Ready to Work grant program and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.