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Celebrating the Nine Graduates of County-Funded Welding Course

Welding Graduates

Celebrating the welding students’ graduation on December 21 were, standing from the left, Center for Workforce Development Employment & Training Supervisor Renee Vandermark, BOCES Instructor Nick Conklin, grad Peter Smith, grad Steven Koskey, grad Daniel Johnston, grad Kevin Alvarado, grad George Santiago, and CWD Director Loreen Gebelein; and sitting from the left, grads Ethan Williams, Ashley Male and Dominick Furlipa. Missing from the photo is grad Isaiah McNeil.

Liberty, NY – Nine local residents successfully graduated on December 21 from a Sullivan County-funded welding certification course, the second in a series of skilled trades classes the Center for Workforce Development (CWD) is offering in conjunction with Sullivan BOCES.

“Congratulations to these hardworking adults, who made time in their lives to learn new skills, improve their job prospects and aim for higher wages and responsibilities,” said CWD Director Loreen Gebelein. “Thanks to the Legislature’s financial commitment, the CWD continues to enhance our local workforce with practical, career-building skills.”

The 10-week program was administered by the CWD, part of the County’s Division of Community Resources. Open to those 18 and older who applied and passed a rigorous selection process, classes were held twice a week at BOCES’ Rubin Pollack Education Center on Ferndale-Loomis Road in Liberty. Tuition for the course was entirely paid for by the County.

“I was very impressed by the students, their instructor Nick Conklin, and their capability for precise, quality work in such a short time period,” affirmed Assistant County Manager Michelle Huck. “But I was most impressed with the fact that we invested in a group of people already intent on bettering their lives, families and the County in general.”

“This was hands-on training in a facility designed to teach basic welding, and graduates of this program are now ready to work – or are already employed – with a number of local employers who value their newfound skills,” said Community Resources Commissioner Laura Quigley. “We offered a similar course in construction trades earlier in 2023, and I look forward to continuing this transformative initiative in 2024.”

“We are proud of the nine individuals who have completed this program and wish them the best of luck and success as they use their knowledge to advance in their existing jobs or start a new career. Each student was determined to learn the art of welding and earn their certifications and should be proud of their accomplishment,” said Robert M. Dufour, Ed.D., District Superintendent/CEO at Sullivan BOCES. “Our partnership with the Center for Workforce Development and the County has been outstanding, and we look forward to working with them to provide future educational opportunities for adult learners, which will help build and maintain our County’s workforce.”

To find out more or to apply, contact the Center for Workforce Development at 845-794-3340 or