TAMPA, Fla. - Lynda Carter is on her way to a hot new career.
"If you have something you really want to do, pursue it, try it, see if it's for you," said Carter.
She's 54, and an injury left her unemployed for a year. Without time and money to pursue another college degree, the seven-week welding class at Career Source Tampa Bay's Career Prep Center is a perfect fit.
"I've done welding before, but this trains you the right way," Carter said.
Grants make most classes free, and they all take less than two months to complete.
"You have to be willing to further your education every day in order to be successful any more," said Edward Peachey, Career Source Tampa Bay CEO.
Career Source is working to bring more businesses on board to offer paid apprenticeships so students can work and get trained at the same time.
"They're taking care of the first nine months worth of on-the-job training i normally have to do. So when they give me an employee, I'm getting a worker with character, who's knows the basic fundamentals and wants a job. That's what I'm looking for," said Dick Peck, CEO of QTM, Inc.
Peck worked with Career Source to create training for these soldering, cabling and welding classes because he says there hasn't been nearly enough labor to meet demand. Without enough workers, he's turned down contract deals.
"People that are 40 years old now will be obsolete in 10 years. This is the future. You're seeing the future right now," Peck said.
He's already hired 35 workers from these programs in the past year, and now hopes more people will take advantage of what's offered here to get a good job.
Employers can participate in programs through Career Source where they are reimbursed up to 50 percent of a new hire's salary for up to 16 weeks.