RAYTOWN, MO (KCTV) -- All public schools in the metro are back in session, but some students aren’t stuck in a classroom.

Students at the Herndon Career Center in Raytown are breaking into the workforce, sometimes before they have their diploma.

Inside the center's diesel mechanic workshop, high schoolers are working on trucks everyday.

Welding teacher Brian Wise says the students in his class grow up fast.

“I don’t look at myself as much as a teacher as I do a life transition coach. I’m talking students that are used to being kids and we transition them to adults. They’re going to make adult money. They’re going to make what I call celebrity money," he said.

Wise said about two of his current students are making about $90,000 a year for a new high school graduate, and that money is all theirs. They have no student loan debt.

Even their time training at Herndon and getting their certifications are free.

The programs are operated by the Raytown School District and other school districts pay them to send their students there.

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