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Riley Johnson wasn’t sure what he wanted to do going into high school, but the Caldwell County High School junior’s experience in carpentry classes has sparked an interest in the trades.

While he likes the carpentry classes he takes at Caldwell Regional Career Center, his motivation may have actually come much earlier.

“I guess ever since I was a little kid I just liked nailing a couple of pieces of wood together, making something and saying ‘I made that,’ ” said Johnson, this week’s Associated General Contractors of Western Kentucky Technical Student of the Week.

His instructor, Greg Creekmur, describes Johnson as focus-driven and eager to learn. Johnson’s mother told Creekmur her son built some projects around the house for her which also impressed the neighbors, who asked him to do the same for them.

“Whatever opportunity is out there, he is a go-getter,” Creekmur said. “And, he has leadership qualities to where at some point in his life, if he continues to do as well as he had with my class, it looks to me like he’s going to be a leader in the community.”

In addition to his interest in trades, Johnson has earned multiple wrestling awards, worked last summer as a plumber’s helper, and currently works at the veterinarian clinic in Princeton.

After high school, Johnson, 16, is thinking about joining the National Guard and getting into the plumber’s union.

This week’s Technical Student of the Week is the son of Barrett and Claudia Johnson.

A story featuring the AGC of Western Kentucky Technical Center Student of the Week will run in The Paducah Sun each Friday through April 30 with recipients chosen by instructors and administrators at the seven area technical centers that serve students in the state’s 13 westernmost counties.

In addition to the Caldwell Regional Career Center, this year’s 29 AGC of Western Kentucky Technical Center Students of the Week are chosen from the Ballard County Career and Technical Center, Four Rivers Career Academy in Fulton, Marshall County Technical Center, Mayfield-Graves County Area Technology Center, Murray-Calloway County Area Technology Center, and the Paducah Innovation Hub.

At the area technical centers, students are learning skills in areas such as carpentry, automotive technology, electricity, industrial maintenance, machine tool technology and welding that will help them join the workforce upon graduation and help fill the need for skilled workers in the area.

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