High school student apprentices are 'Going Pro,' learning about careers through HCTC WORKS! hands-on experience | HCTC

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High school student apprentices are 'Going Pro,' learning about careers through HCTC WORKS! hands-on experience

going pro group photo

Hazard Community & Technical College (HCTC) recognized 11 high school student apprentices on April 9 during an event on its Lees College Campus.

The event was related to HCTC WORKS!, a career and experiential learning initiative. The program offers high school and adult college students opportunities to explore careers through work-based learning. 

The students recognized are, in alphabetical order by last name: 

  • Emma Alexander; 
  • Kelsey Barnett;

  • Hannah Bowling;

  • Skyler Caldwell;

  • Kelly Capps;

  • Preslee Cundiff;

  • Sydnie Deaton;

  • ShyAnn Little;

  • Aleah McIntosh;

  • Tara Strong; and

  • Brenda Turner. 

For high schoolers, HCTC WORKS! can begin as early as enrollment in dual-credit courses. Students may be afforded job-shadowing or the opportunity to become apprentices during 11th or 12th grade. 

The students recognized during the event have been job-shadowing or working as apprentices at Juniper Health, Inc. (JHI), a clinic system serving rural areas of southeastern Kentucky. 

Dr. Derrick Hamilton, JHI chief executive officer (CEO), was present. 

"At Juniper, we're all passionate about healthcare. A lot of people in this room are passionate about education,” Dr. Hamilton said. “But I believe we're all passionate about the future of eastern Kentucky." 

He said opportunities like those provided as part of HCTC WORKS! will create a brighter future for the region. 

Officials with local schools where the student apprentices attend were also present. Representatives from the schools who spoke at the event are listed below in alphabetical order by last name and including their title and affiliation: 

  • Craig Herald, principal, Lee County Area Technology Center (ATC); 

  • Joseph Mayabb, principal, Breathitt County ATC; and

  • Melissa Roark, principal, Jackson City School. 

The event was also part of HCTC's Going Pro Signing Day event series, which recognizes students who are entering the workforce in critical areas, including healthcare. The students signed commemorative certificates as a representation of the significance of entering the workforce.

"Our work as an institution is rooted in meeting the unique demands of our region and its communities, including from a workforce perspective," remarked Dr. Jennifer Lindon, president and CEO at HCTC. "Let today serve as a reminder of our commitment to this end. We are ready and willing to help students find their dreams and pursue them."

Dr. Lindon also mentioned that April is Community College Month. 

"This month is a special one for HCTC," she said. "We'll be celebrating all month long, focusing on our students' success. As we've said before, 'Your success is our success.’"

HCTC will host one additional public signing event as part of its Going Pro event series on May 3 at 1:00 p.m. ET in the First Federal Center on its Hazard campus, 1 Community College Drive, Hazard, Ky. 41701. Additionally, the college will partner with local employers to host on-site, private signing ceremonies as part of the event series.