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Forging with a hammer and anvil

About Us

Our mission and vision 

At AWL, our mission extends beyond merely training the next generation of welders and fabricators. We are dedicated to equipping them to become highly effective members of the workforce. Our innovative and streamlined approach to training and education ensures that quality learning is accessible to all, fostering the development of skilled professionals ready to meet the demands of the industry.

Meet our team

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Lead Instructor Danny Cobb
Danny Cobb
Lead Instructor/Co-Owner

Danny is an American Welding Society (AWS) Certified Welding Inspector & Educator (CWI/CWE) with 30 years of experience working in the energy sector, ranging from gas-fired power plants to global drilling operations.

During his tenure at Pruitt, a Managed Pressure Drilling Company, Danny served as the Manager of Welding Operations, assuming responsibility for the meticulous oversight of manufacturing and inspection processes related to managed pressure drilling equipment. He also played a pivotal role in the development and implementation of a robust quality management system adhering to the rigorous standards of API Q1/ISO9001. Through this endeavor, he gained invaluable insights into the industry's stringent requirements of quality, health, safety, and environmental considerations and has been able to apply those same standards of quality into his program at AWL.  

Recognizing a crucial need for enhanced welding education and fueled by his passion for teaching, Danny transitioned from manufacturing to academia, assuming the role of Welding Instructor at the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith.  Motivated by four years of firsthand experience and observing the prohibitive cost associated with welding education, he embarked on a mission to establish an institution dedicated to delivering high-quality education at an accessible cost. 

Danny has dedicated 30 years to cultivating a robust network within our local community. Our strong network with major local manufacturers offers students exceptional job placement opportunities upon graduation, giving them a competitive edge in the job market.

Welding Instructor Cory Guadagno
Cory Guadagno

Welding Instructor

Cory brings a wealth of experience to the table as the former Production Manager at Qual Serv, overseeing a workforce of 35 + employees engaged in welding and robotic welding operations. With a tenure that spans over five years, he played a pivotal role in testing and training welders within his shop. Additionally, as another former University of Arkansas Welding Instructor, he gained extensive expertise in welding education.

Cory indisputably ranks among the best TIG welders in the area. His precision, skill, and attention to detail not only underscore his mastery of the craft but he is also able to seamlessly transfer his knowledge in the welding lab as he imparts his expertise to his students. With over 14 years of experience in the industry, this makes  him a highly knowledgeable asset to any team

Welding Instructor Dwayne Hensley
DeWayne "Peanut" Hensley

Welding Instructor

Peanut possesses an extensive reservoir of expertise, boasting over three decades of experience in combination pipe welding. With a background encompassing both union and non-union environments, he offers invaluable insights from diverse perspectives to our students. Having held positions such as weld boss on numerous pipelines and serving as a Welding Instructor at Kiamichi Tech- Poteau, Peanut has demonstrated his exceptional proficiency and leadership in the field. 

Peanut has dedicated over 3 decades to cultivating his network within the Pipe welding field, offering our pipe welding students a competitive edge with job placement opportunities. 

Weld Lab Technician Will Merwin
Will Merwin

Weld Lab Technician

Will has been honing his craft since the age of 13, initially apprenticing under his stepfather in his ornamental iron business.  There he contributed to the fabrication of intricately designed iron gates and fences eventually transitioning into subcontracting for the U.S. military where he undertook specialized projects, demonstrating his expertise in the construction of missile launcher and firearms racks.  As the Weld Lab Technician, Will holds a host of responsibilities ranging from assisting Instructors and maintaining equipment to keeping inventory records and managing safety expectations.

School Administrator Angela Cobb
Angela Cobb


Angela oversees all administrative facets of the school, leveraging over two decades of comprehensive experience in administrative duties spanning general office management, billing and IT operations. With this expertise at her disposal, Angela stands ready to assist in various domains including admissions, registration, scheduling, financial inquiries and course-related matters.

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