FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A new trade school in the River Valley is creating opportunities for people to find lucrative careers.

American Welding Laboratories recently opened in Fort Smith. The new school is partnering with local companies to try and create job-specific training programs in the hopes of helping students find jobs quickly after certification.

The school’s lead instructor Danny Cobb says students will find classes that reflect more of a work environment than a classroom. “We do not want to be the best-kept secret in Arkansas. We want everyone to know,” Cobb said. “So, we’re excited for people to come check us out, enroll, and let’s get to burning.

“I think it’s awesome,” said student Kendall Willis. “He’s really working not really towards a school environment, more of like a work environment. Which I think is better to help prepare us for what’s really out there whenever we do graduate and go into the workforce.

According to the American welding society, there will be more than 330,000 open welding jobs available by 2026.

If people would like to learn how to become a student at American Welding Laboratories, they can visit the school’s website.