Sam Wortham was looking for a part-time summer job two years ago and found a potential career in the process.
The Murray High School senior was offered a summer job with a local contractor and that experience, coupled with electricity courses at the Murray/Calloway County Area Technology Center, has him headed for a career as an electrician.
“I was just looking for a job one day and was offered an electricity job. I just said ‘I’ll take it,’ and I really liked it,” Wortham said. “Then I started doing the classes and I really enjoyed that. I enjoyed doing small projects with wiring circuits and stuff like that.”
Wortham, 18, the son of Ted and Stacy Wortham, has been selected as this week’s Associated General Contractors of Western Kentucky Technical Student of the Week.
“He’s a good student,” said Ron Thompson, his instructor at the ATC. “He enjoys learning and he enjoys working. He’s just a good student all the way around.”
Wortham plans to continue his electrical education by enrolling at West Kentucky Community and Technical College. He’d like to pursue residential work, to build on his on-the-job and classroom experience.
Thompson has had Wortham in his classes the last couple of years, the first two years of the program.
“I’m a new teacher,” Thompson said. “And, I look forward to the day when one of my students gets into the trade, does well and enjoys it.
“Maybe he’ll be the one ... I hope so.”
Virtually all of the instructors involved in the ATC classes agree that students willing to do the work and learn can find employment, with many of the baby boomers retiring from their respective trades.
“If he wants to be an electrician, and applies himself, he shouldn’t have any problems,” Thompson said.
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 Murray/Calloway County Area Technology 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, Marshall County Technical Center, and Paducah Innovation Hub.
At the area technical centers, students are learning skills in areas such as electricity, automotive technology, carpentry, 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.