ACTC Offers Fields in Demand

Jul 09, 2013 - | 02:49 PM -

Many of today’s jobs require specialized training beyond high school. ACTC can help students prepare for those jobs with programs that teach the skills that area employers want.

Over one-third of estimated 176,000 new jobs created in Kentucky between 2008 and 2018 will be in healthcare, office and administrative support, and education, according to the Kentucky Outlook.  Those fields are popular choices for many students.

“I came to ACTC to prepare for a career field that I could love and that would help me support my family and myself,” said Sarah D. Stubbs, a South Point resident and Pharmacy Technology graduate now working at Fruth Pharmacy in Ironton. “ACTC is there to help you become whatever you want to become.”

Computer and public service fields are other obvious choices. Computer support jobs have been a growing employment area for more than a decade.  Law enforcement officers, fire fighters, teachers and social workers perform vital functions in society.  Cooks and cosmetologists offer services that are always in demand.

Not so obvious choices are the manufacturing/industrial fields that involve building, operating, repairing and maintaining the country’s infrastructure – from manufacturing plants to cars.

Preparing for these fields involves hands-on training in state-of-the art technology and equipment, combined with general academic knowledge and experience in teamwork, trouble-shooting and problem solving.

“I was stuck at a dead end job when I heard about the pipeline welding program,” said Jeffrey D. Stinnett, a Grayson resident who earned a diploma in the program. “I passed the test for Plumbers and Steamfitters Local #248 in Ashland and have been able to make a generous wage while learning the trade.”     

ACTC’s technical skills programs include Air Conditioning/HVAC, Chemical or Power Plant Operator, Computer Aided Drafting and Design, Construction, Electrical, Industrial Maintenance, Lineman, Computerized manufacturing and Machining, Welding, Auto and Diesel Technologies. 

These programs offer a clear career path to recent high school graduates and a second chance to older adults.  Rickey Lee Davidson, a Catlettsburg resident, lost his job when the Coke Plant closed. “I enrolled in the lineman program because friends recommended the program.  There are good paying jobs waiting for people with the right training in this field.”

In two years or less, these programs can prepare graduates for jobs paying $15 to $25 per hour or more.  Examples include electric power  line installers at $23/hour, CNC machinists at $22/hour, air conditioning / HVAC machinists at $18/hour, carpenters at $17/hour and maintenance and repair workers at $16/hour.

Michael Paul Mabery from Ashland earned an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Machine Tool Technology and is working as a CNC Machinist at McSweeney’s Inc. “I knew that ACTC would help me get the right training and the right tools that I needed to get a good job.”

Even better, these programs are in fields that will always be needed in our society and that will continue to have openings in the future as more and more baby boomers retire. 

Technical programs offer rewarding, long-term opportunities in careers that will continue to grow in demand. They can provide benefits comparable to many of the careers that require a bachelor’s or higher degree.

Students who want to prepare for whatever the future may bring can add general education courses to their technical program.  This gives them the possibility of later earning a degree that can help them qualify for promotions or move into management positions.

For more information on ACTC career choices, go to the web site at ashland.kctcs.edu/academics and click on “Programs of Study.”  For help choosing a career, contact the Career Center, 606-326-2199 or email: nancy.menshouse@kctcs.edu.