The seven area technical centers in western Kentucky train students to be ready to enter the workforce upon graduation. Training students in areas like carpentry, electricity, welding, plumbing and automotive technology, these technical centers are geared toward preparing students for an early start to a career.
Griffin Darnall, a senior at Marshall County High School, has not only been taking three years of electricity courses at the Marshall County Technical Center, but has also been taking dual-credit courses through Murray State University,
“When I graduate from high school, I’d like to attend Murray State,” he said. “I’d like to enter the construction management program.”
Darnall said he is taking basic classes to fulfill general education requirements at the university.
“I’m just really fortunate for the opportunity to be able to do that and go ahead and get started with college and get a feel for what college is going to look like,” he said.
Darnall has his sights set on being a contractor or civil engineer, and the training he got at the technical center coupled with his dual-credit curriculum has him in a position to earn that degree faster and start his career sooner.
One of Darnall’s teachers at the Marshall County Technical Center is his father, Shane Darnall.
“From a young age, I’ve always worked with my dad,” Darnall said. “He’s always been a carpenter and teaching me stuff. I really like the process of doing things and seeing it all come together.”
Another thing that will help Darnall get into the working world faster is the work experience he has already gained, working for vice president Dennis Smith at Pinnacle Inc. General Contractor.
“I was attached for a couple of summers working with Pinnacle,” Darnall said. “We did a lot of different stuff like me and my dad had done in the past. I learned about pouring concrete and other different things.
“I just kind of fell in love with it, and I just think I would enjoy going to work if I was doing something along those lines.”
Darnall said the Marshall County Technical Center has given him a good start toward his career goals.
“Nowadays, when you go through high school, I feel like college is being pushed really big, so I decided to go to college,” he said. “I feel like if you didn’t want to go to college, you could really learn a lot about electrical, welding or anything we offer up here.
“For me, I know that I’m going to be able to work somewhere if college doesn’t work out. That’s how it helped me and how it helps other students.”
Darnall is a member of the Marshall County Marshals football and baseball teams. He is the son of Shane and Jill Darnall of Benton.
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 Marshall County Technical 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, Caldwell Regional Career Center, Four Rivers Career Academy in Fulton County, 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 automotive technology, welding, carpentry, machine tool technology, electricity and industrial maintenance that will help them join the workforce upon graduation and help fill the need for skilled workers in the area.