CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A big donation was celebrated on Wednesday at two Corpus Christi Independent School District campuses.
Veterans Memorial High School and Moody High School received a grant worth nearly $300,000 from the Texas Workforce Commission.
The grant is going to purchase new equipment for the schools' welding programs.
"This is how we pipe, its a different style of welding," senior Casey Lozano said.
Lozano gave 3News a tour of the work area. Lozano said the students have everything they need to get hands-on practice for what comes after graduation.
"It's good to have because you don't want to go to that new job and see foreign stuff and say I don't know what this is," Lozano said.
According to Lozano, the welding program is something that is sparking a growing interest.
"It used to not be like this. It used to be 30 to 40 kids in a program, and now we're having a problem with too many kids wanting to weld," Lozano said.
CCISD Career and Technical Education programs are designed to help students achieve career readiness in today's high-demand fields.
"This is going to be awesome to get a new one of those because it has been breaking on us," Lozano said.
"Being able to train on state of the art equipment allows them to be work ready and have these skills under their belt or whatever they do with their education going forward said Ruth Hughs, commissioner of Texas Workforce Commission.
"If they want to earn a living with their hands, this is the place to be," welding instructor Juan Castillo said.
According to Castillo, he is thankful for the equipment that gives the students a heads up on the competition.
"That's the key component is having industrial machinery in here to teach our students to industrial standards. It allowed us to get a gas machine, a plasma table, and all of these wonderful welding booths we do have," Castillo said.
With the skills the students learn thanks to that new equipment, they'll be able to go out into the real world and quickly find work.
Sophomore Hailey Vasquez said it was her curiosity that got her into the welding program at Moody High School.
"Working with the CNC machinery has given me so many opportunities to open my eyes to see what I want to branch into besides pipeline," Vasquez said.
For Lozano, he can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. Lozano is set to graduate with a certificate in welding.