Caldwell soph gets an early jump on welding career

Brayden Stanley has a long history of carpentry in his family, so when he chose a field of study at the Caldwell Regional Career Center, he took another tack and opted for welding.

The Caldwell County High School sophomore is this week’s Associated General Contractors of Western Kentucky Technical Center Student of the Week.

Stanley said he was looking for an area he could call his own.

“My whole family has done carpentry their whole life,” he said. “Nothing else really interested me (last year as a freshman), so I thought, ‘Why not go play with some fire?’ ”

Stanley said he enjoys the meticulous, hands-on work involved with welding.

Stanley has earned 2F certification through the American Welding Society, and he won the regional title in this year’s SkillsUSA welding competition last month in Madisonville, but he will not be able to compete at the state competition, as it has been canceled.

A career is not as imminent for Stanley as it is with most of the Technical Center Students of the Week — most of whom are seniors — but he has started to consider his options.

“Right now, I hope to find (a job) welding-related,” he said. He added that he is considering going to a welding college to improve his skills, but that would also put him in debt. Another option would be to go to a college after working for a while and earning money for tuition and costs.

Stanley was nominated for Technical Center Student of the Week by his instructor, Mickey Bayer, who praised Stanley for his hard work in the classroom and attention to detail.

In his spare time, Stanley enjoys riding dirt bikes and working for his father at Stanley Contracting in Greenville.

Stanley is the son of Brittany and Michael Haberlock of Princeton and Donavin Stanley of Greenville.

The Caldwell Regional Career Center is on the campus of Caldwell County High School and services students from Caldwell County, Crittenden County, Dawson Springs, Lyon County and Trigg County high schools.

A story featuring the AGC of Western Kentucky Technical Center Student of the Week has run in The Paducah Sun each Friday. The final installment is March 27. Recipients are 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 County, Marshall County Technical Center, Mayfield-Graves County Area Technology Center, the Murray-Calloway County Area Technology Center and the Paducah Area Technical Center.

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

A banquet is tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. April 23 at Marshall County High School to honor the Technical Center Students of the Week and to name technical center and overall Students of the Year.

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