FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Remodeling is in full swing at Duncan Polytechnical High School in Fresno where the district is making room for two new career pathway programs.
One space is being transformed into a welding class.
"Actually the only one of its kind in Fresno Unified. So we're really excited about that. Hired a new teacher and we're preparing our shop structure to accommodate the new equipment that's coming in," said Jeremy Ward, principal.
Arc welders, plasma welders, and all different pieces of equipment will soon be installed in the space. Right now workers are upgrading electrical capabilities to accommodate all of the machinery.
Fresno Unified said the district is trying to provide more options for students by expanding career technical education. Realizing not every student's path will include college.
Ward said they want students to get the specialized training they need with the certification to back them up.
"On the welding side, for example, that they will get stackable certifications in areas of welding they can take to an employer and show they have basic competencies to get them a good starting out job within that industry."
Auto students at Duncan already leave with a certification from the National Automotive Training Education Foundation.
On the welding side, the district is working with longtime Fresno manufacturer, Betts Company, to create the pathway. Sam Geil said the pathway will help fill a void in the industry.
"We have an aging workforce in general, okay just across the board. A lot of the workforce is about my age and getting ready to retire and there is a gap."
Duncan will also be introducing an occupational therapy career pathway. Another room is being remodeled to accommodate physical therapy tables and equipment.
Ward said the new pathways are bringing in more students to the school.
"There's more applicants than we have space for."
The renovations at Duncan are expected to be complete in the next three weeks, just in time for school to start.