SAN DIMAS/LA VERNE – Bonita Unified School District is offering 18 graduating students or recent graduates the opportunity to jumpstart their careers and become certified welders with an 11-week course through the Welding Certification Center in Pomona, offered in partnership with Pomona Valley America’s Job Center.

The County of Los Angeles Department of Economic Opportunity will cover the cost of tuition for the 18 students, to be selected following an application and interview process, to attend the accelerated course that begins Monday, July 8. At the Welding Certification Center, the only state-licensed private welding school in Los Angeles County, students will be trained in shielded metal arc welding, also known as stick welding, and become certified welders licensed by both the American Welding Society (AWS) and the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS).

“Bonita Unified is committed to providing students with as many opportunities as possible to explore potential careers and develop skills that will benefit their future pursuits,” Bonita Unified Career Technical Education Coordinator Vanessa Tilford said. “We are incredibly grateful to Pomona Valley America’s Job Center, the Welding Certification Center and the County’s Department of Economic Opportunity for their partnership in bringing this program to life and expanding opportunities for our graduating students.”

The Welding Certification Center will assist program graduates in developing relationships with local unions and securing employment after completing the program and their certifications. To be eligible, students must be 18 years old on or before Monday, July 1, have a valid California driver’s license or ID, reside within Los Angeles County, and complete the following by Friday, May 17:

• Submit an enrollment application with the Welding Certification Center
• Submit an essay to on the topic “Why am I interested in this program and how it will help me”

Finalists for the pilot program will be asked to submit additional information to determine eligibility for the tuition assistance provided by the county, as well as participate in an interview panel. For more information on the program or application process, contact Vanessa Tilford by calling (909) 971-8200, ext. 5319 or emailing