SALINEVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) — The Utica Shale Academy is ecstatic to reveal its new state-of-the-art welding facility. Ascent Resources Welding Lab will serve the students for the upcoming school year.

Welders are hard at work perfecting their craft.

“We were having students struggle with the elements of welding, so we came up with the idea to have an outdoor welding facility,” said William Watson, Superintendant of Utica Shale Academy.

Students will spend two hours each day at the lab and receive welding certification upon graduation.

“To watch adults come back and tell you the impacts they’re having in the community, that’s really what I’m looking forward to,” Watson said. “To see young people be productive members in society.”

The academy says there’s a shortage of welders right now.

“You use welding in almost every single industry of the trades,” said Brandon Eastek, of the academy. “My father owned a trucking company. You have to weld things, you have to fix things.”

Students just learned about welding safety. The welders have a special outfit that consists of a welding hat, cap, glasses, coat and gloves.

“Anytime you build things you gotta be ready for economic growth, and there’s no better way to build things then by welding them together,” Watson said.

A donation from Ascent Resources helped make the lab possible.