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Raritan Valley Community College is currently offering a welding course as part of free manufacturing education and workforce training programs funded by the New Jersey Manufacturing Skills Initiative.  

As part of the initiative, anyone who enrolls in the designated manufacturing education and training programs receives free tuition up to $5,000. The education and training must be completed by June 30, 2025. Many successful candidates will have employment opportunities with participating manufacturing companies. 

The New Jersey Manufacturing Skills Initiative, funded by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL), provides $2 million for education and workforce training of 250 participants at New Jersey’s community colleges. Of those educated and trained, 125 of them will be hired by participating manufacturing employer partners.  

The program is a strategic partnership between New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC), the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP), the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), as well as other education and workforce development partners that connect to the NJDOL’s industry partnerships. 

The NJCCC is currently seeking input from businesses through its annual Manufacturing Skills Initiative Survey, aimed at gathering information about hiring needs, the timing of planned hiring, and the skills and credentials that are required of new hires. Go to NJBIA’s website to learn more and take the survey here. 

RVCC’s AWS MIG Welding course, which runs until July 3, is designed to equip participants with in-depth training in welding techniques, aligning with the standards set by the American Welding Society (AWS). Additionally, it introduces the fundamentals of additive manufacturing, covering essential concepts and basics of 3D modeling.  

The goal is to prepare individuals for AWS certification exams, ensuring they possess the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the welding industry and navigate the realm of 3D printing through hands-on experience. 

Students who successfully complete the program will earn an American Welding Society certificate, which will open doors to manufacturing jobs with competitive pay, complete with benefits. In addition, participants will acquire skills to do piecework, potentially adding more to their annual salary. The course is also appropriate for non-professionals interested in learning more about welding and its artistic possibilities. 

“Raritan Valley Community College is committed to training the next generation of workers to meet the ongoing and future needs of the workforce. With many welding professionals currently nearing retirement age, the need for manufacturing training is critical, as skilled welders are in high demand by many industries,” said RVCC President Michael J. McDonough. 

NJCCC Vice President Catherine Starghill said the Manufacturing Skills Initiative “helps to ensure the skills needed by manufacturers are met with the top-notch education and training available at New Jersey’s community colleges.” 

“We are grateful that funds have been prioritized by the state to strengthen New Jersey’s manufacturing workforce and our economy,” Starghill said.  

To learn more about RVCC’s welding program, contact Angelo Amante at amorito.amante@raritanval.edu or 908-526-1200, ext. 8975. For additional information about career training at RVCC visit www.raritanval.edu/career-training.