CDA Technical Institute's Commercial Diver Program


CDA Newsletter - Spring 2010

CDA's Maritime Welding Program is Launched!

CDA is very excited to bring our skill, knowledge and competency into the field of maritime welding and announce our new Maritime Welding Program! The Maritime Welding Program was accredited in February and follows the structure of our rigorous diver training programs. The real-world maritime environment transcends the typical welding program and gives our graduates a unique advantage. CDA's Maritime Welding Program prepares graduates for the exciting and fast-paced career of welding, both offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and in shipyards, building everything from oil tankers to battleships. We developed the curriculum by working closely with the leading companies in these industries. Unlike traditional welding schools that teach students how to weld in a booth, CDA simulates the environment of a real maritime welder with shipfitting, crane operations, rigging and offshore survival. Graduates will receive several certifications, including the American Welding Society (AWS) Certificate of Completion, AWS Entry Level Welder Certification Card, AWS S.E.N.S.E. Entry Level Welder Qualification in Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW), and Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), API Offshore Safety and Survival Certificate, API RP2D Rigging Certificate. For those who want to weld in the maritime industry, they should attend the only school that takes welding beyond the booth! For more information, visit


Michael Cocks, "In the House"

In mid-February, Michael Cocks visited and dove at our Jacksonville and Ocala campuses. Michael has visited thirty two commercial diving schools over the past 20 years, so were very pleased when he said, “This visit was one of the most enjoyable and impressive for a long time.” To read the full article, visit the Newsletter & Media page of our website under “About Us.”


CDA Website Recognized as "Best in Show"

CDA is proud to announce that our newly designed website won the BEST IN SHOW at the 2010 ADDY awards in March. CDA joined forces with Third Wave Digital to redesign the website and after almost a year of collaborative effort, it was launched in November of 2009. If you have not visited our website recently, you will certainly want to do so soon at



New Staff at CDA!

April has finally brought warm weather and new employees! CDA welcomes Kathy Nichols as our new Administrative Assistant, Lincoln Wells, a CDA Graduate, as a new instructor for the Deep Water Training Center in Ocala, Florida, and Bobby Hathaway will be joining us as the lead instructor for the Maritime Welding Program. Below are their pictures and biographies:

Mrs. Nichols began her career in the automotive industry in 1979. She made the transition to the boating industry the following year and has experience in parts, accounts receivable and payable, titles, warranties, finance, inventory control, and sales. She has worked for all of the major boating retailers in the area and was recruited to CDA in January of 2010. She currently serves as the Administrative Assistant and assists in managing the store.

In 1988, Mr. Wills began recreational diving and enlisted in the Navy Reserves as a Combat Medic. He qualified to deploy with the US Marines in 1992. He received his BS in Biology in 1994 and MS in Exercise Physiology in 1996 from Georgia Southern University. Mr. Wills received a direct commission to the US Navy Medical Service Corps in 1997 and worked as an aviation physiologist, program administrator of the Navy's fitness test, and research physiologist at the Navy Experimental Diving Unit, Pensacola, Florida. He graduated from Commercial Diving Academy in 2005 and is certified as a NAUI Instructor. He has four years of offshore diving experience, including platform tie-ins, hot taps, inspections, installations, and salvage. Lincoln also has experience in saturation diving. Lincoln is currently enrolled in CDA’s EMT/DMT program and is expected to graduate at the end of May, 2010. Mr. Wills has joined the instructor team at our Deep Water Training Center in Ocala, Florida.

Mr. Hathaway began his welding career in 1986 working for his family’s business. In 1989, he went to work as a pipeline welder in the Midwest. He has worked for various fabrication shops throughout Oklahoma. In 2001, he started his career in education when Tulsa Welding School in Oklahoma recruited him as an instructor. He was transferred to Jacksonville to establish their new location. He became the Director of Training in 2007 and he brings his extensive background and experience to our program. Mr. Hathaway is skilled in SMAW, GTAW, SAW, FCAW, and GMAW, and has worked in power plants, paper mills, and on drilling rigs. He has been a member of the American Welding Society (AWS) for ten years and is currently working towards obtaining his Certified Welding Inspector and Certified Welding Educator credentials through AWS. Mr. Hathaway is the lead instructor for the Maritime Welding Program.


And the news from Ocala...

April also brought excellent visibility to the Deep Water Training Center in Ocala, Florida, which can now boast 85 feet of visibility! The facility has also doubled the number of deep water diving stations and is now open to the public.