A student studying electricity at the Mayfield/Graves County Area Technology Center has been honored along with several of his peers by Associated General Contractors of Western Kentucky officials and awarded a $500 prize for his technical expertise.
Justin Mason, a senior at Graves County High School and a student at the ATC center on the campus at Mayfield High School, was recently ranked among the "best of the best" students at seven ATCs across western Kentucky.
Throughout the school year, AGCWK officials has honored 29 of the top high school students learning technical skills at regional ATC centers in weekly feature stories in The Paducah Sun known as the AGC of Western Kentucky Technical Center Student of the Week.
Mason and other students chosen by balloting were honored at a banquet held Tuesday at Graves County High School.
Of the seven, Jaron Pryor, a senior at Fulton City High School who is studying automotive technology, was awarded the title of AGC Technical Center Student of the Year by AGC of Western Kentucky officials. He was also the Student of the Year for Four Rivers Career Academy in Hickman. Pryor will receive a $1,000 prize.
Mason and the five remaining students will each receive $500.
Other than Mason, those awarded include:
n Bryan Anderson, carpentry, Caldwell County Regional Career Center.
n Tyler Nelson, welding, Marshall County Technical Center.
n Christian Wallace, industrial maintenance, Ballard County Career and Technical Center.
n Chandler White, welding, Paducah Area Technical Center.
n Kaleb Wooldridge, automotive technology, Murray-Calloway County Area Technology Center.
"I think that the (technical center) instructors are starting to realize what (the Technical Center Student of the Week) program can do for their students," said Joel Crider, who is the workforce coordinator for AGC of Western Kentucky and the coordinator of the weekly student honor program.
"It's also causing students to try that much harder in class. That's one of the outcomes that we're hoping for, that they'll see that there's reward in hard work.
"I would say that the majority of these students will have employment right out of school or if they choose to go to higher education in one of the specialty programs that they are in."
Also in attendance at the awards banquet were Deputy Commissioner Tim House of the Kentucky Department of Housing, Building and Construction; J.P. Kelly of Triangle Enterprises, who served as this year's AGC of Western Kentucky president; and John Hale of Bill Adams Construction, the vice president of AGC of Western Kentucky.
The AGC of Western Kentucky Technical Center Student of the Week program was initiated last year in an effort to identify outstanding students at area technical centers, to promote workforce skills education and to provide a connection between regional students and area contractors who are seeking workers out of high school or community college.