Melvina’s father was a welder. She grew up helping him but didn’t learn to weld from him. Always in the back of her mind, she wanted to learn to weld, and when she looked into programs, she discovered Cabrillo.
“I enrolled in one class. I found the instructor to be very helpful and encouraging,” says Melvina.
After taking more classes, she became a certified stick welder.
“That was very cool and exciting. It was tougher than I thought it’d be, and it fueled me to want to do more.”
Melvina uses her welding skills in a variety of ways. She’s into classic cars and had projects in her shop she wanted to complete. She designed and welded a removable bracket for a winch on her trailer, for example. She’s made a sign for her shop after working in ornamental iron. She also made a bocce ball rack for a co-worker that she’s very proud of. She’s planning to design and weld a custom gate at her home with skills learned at Cabrillo.
She went back to take a class when she was told the program added a plasma table. She loved it so much she bought her own CNC plasma table. Her plan is to make signs and other items and sell them.
“The experience was invaluable, it gave me the confidence to design, plan and fabricate on my own.”
Matt calls himself a "jack of all trades" because he has a lot of interests. He has completed automotive training and is now taking welding classes. He started at Cabrillo because the Welding Program had certifications, unlike other programs. Matt has completed certificates and will be taking more classes. He says it is a good program, finding Dave to be a great instructor.
"He is very helpful and really cares about your progression," Matt says.
When Matt completes all of his training he plans to start his own business or find a great job in the welding field.
Sofia P. and her husband are both electrical engineers who love to build things. When they identified projects around the home that involved welding, they didn’t dive right in but decided to take a course. Specifically, they wanted a rack for their rooftop tent that would go around the soft top camper that would be expensive to buy. They took the class together to learn how to do this and work on future projects.
“We had a great experience in the class. The teacher was wonderful and helped with designing the rack. Immediately after we finished the class, we built the rack and went camping. It worked!” says Sofia.
Sofia and her husband now have their own welder and are starting new projects such as modifying their trailer to be fully enclosed. They believe that welding has been an important skill to learn on the side and add to their engineering skill set. They are considering future welding classes.
“All along the way, we learned a lot and we got lots of ideas of what we can do with our new skills.”
Ginger is interested in making art, so a few years ago she began working with a local artist. Through that work she became attracted to working with metal and wanted to learn more. To do so, Ginger chose the Welding program at Cabrillo because "they have great teachers and it's an affordable place to test the water." She found a "great environment" for learning.
The staff are very friendly and open and the classes are a group environment so we all work and learn together. The teachers are super skilled and talented.
She enjoys making art, and she finds metal is great to work with. Ginger would love to make a living creating art. Taking classes in the Welding program is allowing her to make progress toward that goal.