Lee Gerald is a student at Southwest Georgia Technical College. He says his decision to take up welding was an easy one.
Lee says, "There's always a constant need everywhere you look, welders, ‘hiring welders’ signs, they'll be in any big company you go by out here."
And the proof is in the numbers. The Georgia Department of Labor lists welding as the fast-growing occupation in southwest Georgia.
Sonny Scully, SWGTC welding instructor, says, "There's a high demand, there's constant calls from industries, there's people that come in, they want to talk to our students. They have jobs available. The problem we're having is we don't have enough students available for these jobs."
But the welding field is not alone. Drafting, air conditioning and auto mechanics are all in demand.
Lorette Hoover, SWGTC interim president, says, "If you've taken your car to the automotive shop lately or if you've had your air conditioner serviced lately like I just have, you know these are well paying jobs and they're looking for employees."
It all adds up to good news for blue collar students like Lee who can look forward to having a well paying job that's in demand while getting to stay close to home.