SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- After spending eight years in the military, Casey Demarse became a mechanic, but she always wanted more.
"I asked myself, 'What can I do as a mechanic that could take me to the next level?'"
Demarse quit her job and went back to school to become a welder.
"Welding isn't going anywhere. Cars, structures, bridges, buildings, it's everywhere, everywhere," Demarse said.
Demarse is enrolled in Modern Welding School in Schenectady, one of the oldest trade schools in the country. Modern Welding School opened in 1936 in the Electric City, when welders were in high demand. Nearly 80 years later, the trade is still going strong but the workforce, not so much.
"The country, as a whole, is facing a welder shortage," said Modern Welding School Vice President Jeff Daubert.
"They're going to be looking for them (welders) everywhere so it's an opportunity for people who want to get into a really good paying job. They want to use their hands, they want to get dirty, they want to have something new and different all the time, you can do that with welding," Demarse added.
Thomas Przybylowicz recently lost his job after 37 years. He enrolled in the school for a second chance.
"I took advantage of the Trade Adjustment Act to go back to school and learn another trade so I could better myself," said Przybylowicz.
Through several different programs, Modern Welding School teaches techniques that can be used in a number of industries.
"They can get into construction, they can get into manufacturing, maintenance, repair welding," Daubert said.
Modern Welding School was recently named one of the best trade schools in the country. It was presented with the 2015 Schools of Excellence Award by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). It was one of only 24 schools across the country to win the distinction.
"In 7 and 1/2 months, they'll get 900 hours of training and it's mostly hands-on. That leads to a very high completion percentage in our program." said Daubert.
In 2014, nearly 75 percent of its students found a job after graduation.
Modern Welding School also works closely with companies like General Electric, New York State DOT, SUNY, FedEx and more. It's always enrolling new students because it's a trade that isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
"As long as there's metal there has to be something to put it together besides bolts," said Modern Welding School student Joshua Gordon.
The students will be ready, no matter where the trade takes them.
"I believe that I'll be ready to get a decent job when I get out of here," Przybylowicz said.