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Morgan Mayo wasn’t necessarily thinking about a career when he began taking welding classes three years ago through the Paducah Area Technical Center, now known as the Paducah Innovation Hub.

But now the Paducah Tilghman High School senior is definitely on a welding career track, and is this week’s Associated General Contractors of Western Kentucky’s Technical Student of the Week.

“At first, he kind of thought it (welding) was just an elective class,” said his instructor, Brandon Wilber. “Then it started sinking in. He started seeing his classmates above him, that were my good students, start getting employment and making money and I think that inspired him to be the ‘next man up.’

“He really started maturing and coming into his own, especially his junior year, and he’s really evolved into the leader of the class that I need today. He’s just a great kid. I wish I had 20 Morgans in the class.”

Mayo, the son of Damon and Brandy Mayo, credits his father with suggesting welding classes, and admits once he got into it, he thought “this is really cool. I think I can get into this.”

Wilber credits Mayo’s work ethic, evidenced by 17-year-old’s response to the question of what he likes about welding.

‘Honestly, it’s just working. Usually, when I put the hood down I know it’s time to work. That’s really about it.”

The welding instructor is confident Mayo will find success once he graduates this year.

“We’ve actually reached out to two different businesses trying to get him started in an apprenticeship in a fabrication shop,” Wilber said.

“Morgan’s got a plan, he wants to go to work. I’m going to do everything in my power to set him on that path because I know he’s the type of student that’s going to make it.”

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 Paducah Innovation Hub, 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, Marshall County Technical Center, Mayfield-Graves County Area Technology Center, and Murray-Calloway County Area Technology Center.

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

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