KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Carter High School now has a new welding laboratory. Superintendent Bob Thomas, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, Principal Angie Messer and other community leaders were at the high school celebrating the opening on Thursday.

According to Principal Messer, the program is vital to the school and community. It also allows students to leave high school and go into employment or enroll in an advanced program. The current welding program at Carter High goes through year 2 of the certification program. The certification can then be completed at TCAT or Pellissippi State Community College.

When speaking about why welding was chosen, Principal Messer shared, “so there’s several opportunities that I chose welding for. One was because of the interest in our community. We have a lot of businesses, industries that surround us that need welders and need that programming. So in trying to find those pathways where students can feed into it was a good choice for us.”

“We’re just excited and thrilled that this opportunity is available for our community and our students because I feel like it’s life-changing for some of them.”