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Latest News from the Career and Technical Center

Water and fire don't mix, but working with them pays well! 


A pair of welding seniors plan for careers around water

Mike SkowfoeEverybody knows water and fire don't mix.

But a pair of Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School (CTE) students are betting their future that the combination will work out well for them.

The seniors in the CTE welding program at Mohonasenasen's Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) are currently building their welding knowledge in an effort to advance to the next level next year. For Mike Skowfoe, from Cobleskill Richmondville, that means going to college to learn how to weld underwater, while for Rod Nichols, a senior from Schalmont, that means joining the U.S. Navy to pursue a career as a welder.

"I have always enjoyed being underwater and I like to weld so that is the perfect career for me." Skowfoe said. "At CTE, I have been able to learn about the various types of welding and decide what career is good for me. I am going to Florida for college to learn underwater welding."

Underwater welding is a highly lucrative career path with salaries easily reaching six figures, according to industry information. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for underwater welders is increasing 36.9 percent between 2014 and 2024. Rod Nichols welds

CTE Deputy Director Dr. Valerie Kelsey said state officials have reached out to BOCES looking for underwater welders to help construct off-shore wind turbines.

Nichols, meanwhile, credits CTE with giving him the tools he needs to succeeds.

"CTE teaches you how to do the techniques you can't learn at home or anyplace else," he said.
"It is preparing me to go into the Navy and be a welder. That is something I have always wanted to do."

The top photo shows Skowfoe preparing a torch. In the second photo, Nichols welds.

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