Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva presented a $1 million check to Fullerton College during a ceremony she held Thursday, Oct 4, 2018, in the welding lab of the 700 building.
FC has one of the largest welding departments offered in the Los Angeles and Orange County district. This department certifies around 18 students per semester. Although many of the students are not originally from the United States, they chose to come to FC because of how well received the welding department is.
Quirk-Silva spoke on the diversity and how she enjoyed seeing within the welding students. She met with some students that were veterans and some returning students that want to learn how weld for recreational purposes.
Welding is an important industry to help for Quirk-Silva, because she had a father who used to weld and wants to help support the industry’s growth.
Plans for the money will go towards purchasing new, modern equipment, such as computer assisted machines that will replace the old, outdated machines. These new machines will help better prepare students for future job opportunities.
“With the new equipment this is a chance for me to learn about a higher level of welding in order to get one of the better welding jobs available today,” said welding student Jesus Torres.
Torres plans to finish his A.S. degree as well as get his L.A. certification in welding. “As technology keeps advancing we need to constantly keep up with it in order to improve our skills as well as our technique,” Torres said.
Some of the best jobs the welding industry has to offer requires knowledge of how to operate these high-tech machines and the pay can range from anywhere from 25 to 50 dollars an hour, depending on the company.
“We want to increase the amount of outreaches we do to local high schools to introduce new students to our welding program,” said manufacturing technology and welding professor Brandon Kirby.