SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale is trying to boost Arkansas’ future skilled workforce.

The school hosted a trade and industry showcase October 5 to highlight careers in welding, industrial, maintenance and diesel mechanics.

According to the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce, 23% of the current skilled professionals in Arkansas are at or near retirement age, and there are not enough young professionals ready to take their place.

Career and Technical Coordinator Kelley Williamson with Springdale Schools says this is an important opportunity for students.

“There is definitely a deficit of jobs in the area for trade and industry so it’s really important that we make connections and give these students a next step for their future,” Williamson said.

“Being in industrial maintenance is going to teach me how to plumb and electrical and fabrication and other things that construction workers know and what architects should know,” said Chloe Lane, a senior at the school.

Several hundred students from around the region participated in the event.