Watch Clifton's story

Meet Clifton Smith

  • Welders

  • BRCC Angola Penitentiary

  • New Orleans

As a young man, Clifton struggled to make ends meet. This wasn’t anything new in his neighborhood. Which is why he eventually turned to selling drugs. It wasn’t until he was sent to Angola Prison that he knew he had to make a change. In doing so, he found his true passion: welding.

Thanks to the 18 month program provided by Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC), Clifton gained the skills he needed to do well in the welding market. Once he left Angola, Clifton was ready to rejoin the workforce as a passionate and changed man. With his welder’s permit card and full certification under his belt, he started working on shipyards. However, in his heart of hearts, he always knew he wanted to work somewhere with more flexibility.

So, 2 years and an entire world of experience later he found himself at a metal fabrication shop. As a Combination Welder and Assemblyman, he’s able to do what he loves and work on something new everyday, be it putting furniture together or welding.

Clifton’s struggles led him to dedicate his life to better things with the help of education and understanding his passion. Which means you can too. Programs similar to BRCC’s classes can often cost between $2,965 and $6,463 on average. If you were to join Clifton as a welder, entry level salaries typically begin at $33,000 - $40,000.

Career info

$30,262 - $44,365


  • Art, Design, and Creativity

    Art, Design, and Creativity

  • Problem Solving

    Problem Solving

  • Physical and Hands-on Work

    Physical and Hands-on Work

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