Welding Program Provides New Path for Local Workers

After working for years as a mechanic, Matawan resident Justin Dapolito found himself in an unfamiliar situation. Despite his extensive experience and a host of professional certifications, there simply wasn’t enough work to go around.

Like countless others before him, Dapolito was laid off.

Seemingly overnight, the 36-year-old was faced with a difficult decision:  keep seeking work as a mechanic, or chart a new path in a different career field. Ultimately, he decided to take a chance.

“A friend told me about this free welding training program offered through Brookdale,” Dapolito said. “I’d never really considered welding before, but it sounded like the kind of opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

James McCarthy and Daniel Lim speak with a class of welders-in-training in Matawan on July 29.

Dapolito was one of 13 area workers selected from more than 100 applicants for the program, which is sponsored by the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development (NJCCC) and funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.


Read More…