Students in the Fairmont Area School District are preparing for their careers one weld at a time.
A welding academy was put in place at the local high school thanks to the support of businesses. It provides hands on training students say they are using to prepare for life after high school.
"I believe it (welding) would be a good career," said Harley Luhmann, a junior at Fairmont High School.
As the sparks fly, instructor Robert Bonin says the program got its start thanks to businesses going before the school board and then pitching in dollars.
"They (businesses) were talking about the need of getting kids back into our community for good-paying jobs," Bonin said.
It's a future and a career field students say is very promising.
"I'm thinking about welding," said Luhmann. "After I took it the first semester last year, like I realized this is a lot of fun. So I took it 2nd semester last year you know, so I took a year of it and I realized, you know this could be a future."
Bonin says unique thing about the program is once students graduate, they can go from this welding shop-straight into the workforce.
"These are the students that are great hands-on workers, and now we're matching their talents to a career," Bonin said.
Eighteen students are enrolled in the welding program at Fairmont High School right now. That's a step up, after just 12 were expected initially.