Our mission and vision
In a world of uncertainty, one thing holds true, the trades will never die. We learned early on that trade schools are a great place to start a career, that is not any truer than it is today. According to the American Welding Society, the welding shortage will reach a deficit of over 300,000 workers by 2024. Older welders are reaching retirement age, and younger welders aren't replacing them fast enough. In fact, the average age of a welder is 55 and fewer than 20 percent are under the age of 35. At AWL we not only want to train the next generation of welders and fabricators, but make it our mission to prepare them to be effective members of the workforce, with a more innovative and streamlined approach to training and learning.
Meet our team
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.
Cory brings a wealth of experience to the table as the former Production Manager at Qual Serv, where he oversaw 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 - Fort Smith Welding Instructor, Cory possesses extensive expertise in welding education, making him a highly knowledgable asset to any team
DeWayne "Peanut" Hensley
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.
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.