CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Nueces County Junior Livestock Show kicked off this weekend with one of their biggest events -- the welding competition.

Over 100 students are showcasing their skills during this 16th annual welding competition. All of the students who are competing are applying everything they have learned in the classroom.

The students come from 20 high schools from the Coastal Bend and surrounding areas including the Columbus, Port Lavaca, and Falfurrias areas.

"We are doing dual-credit with Del Mar. It is growing. It's something that is here in South Texas and the Corpus area, refineries, pipelines, you know, welding is picking up," Welding Instructor Domingo P. Garcia Jr. said. "In today's society we don't have the welders that we need. There's a shortage. Hopefully we can help by filling some of these welding spots."

According to competition officials, they have seen a lot more girls getting into the welding industry. One girl from Miller High School is graduating as class valedictorian and received a scholarship to Letourneau University as a welding engineer.

In 2019, if students pass the Standard Quality Visual Inspection, they will become certified welders.