Ithaca-area resident Monica Burke recently opened a metalworking business after taking welding training offered by the adult education program at TST BOCES.
Initially interested in learning welding for an art project, Burke discovered a passion for the craft and was eager to open her own shop after participating in the classes.
“I researched different welding training opportunities and found the classes that TST BOCES offers are really unique and affordable,” Burke said.
Burke started in February 2017 with Beginning Adult Welding, a 21-hour course that introduces students to foundational principles of the trade. She immediately hit it off with class instructor Randy Jackson, appreciating his personable and personalized teaching as well as the safety minded and professional teaching environment he established.
After completion of this program, Burke purchased a torch welding kit and started building a safe place to weld in her garage so she could practice more at home.
Interested in developing her skills further, Burke went on to take the Advanced Welding class in July and August 2018. This much more in-depth, 80-hour program includes training in torch welding, stick welding, MIG and TIG welding.
“The 80-hour welding class gave me a solid foundation and the confidence to start my business,” Burke said.
Burke now operates a metal working business named Monweld, where she crafts a variety of pieces available for purchase. To view some of her work, visit her website: www.monweld.com.
“It’s been a good career for me and I enjoy the opportunity to share it with others,” said welding instructor Randy Jackson. “I’ve seen people pursue the craft as a change of career or just as a hobby and this class is suitable for either.”
For more information about adult education at TST BOCES visit http://tstboces.org/adult-education/