Dustin Duckett is ready for a career in welding. Having taken four years of welding courses and working two jobs, all he has to do is graduate.
Duckett, a senior at Marshall County High School, was named last week’s Associated General Contractors of Western Kentucky Technical Center Student of the Week.
Duckett works at Murtco Inc., a mechanical and underground utility company in Paducah. Among the services it provides are plumbing services, an area that Duckett is interested in working in.
“My plan as soon as I get out of high school is to get an apprenticeship with the Pipefitters and Steamfitters Local Union 184 for the plumbers and the fitters,” he said.
Duckett has done a number of jobs for Murtco, including putting in new pipes and plumbing. Currently, he is helping to paint the building at the company’s new location at 2900 Irvin Cobb Drive.
Duckett has had four years of study in the welding program at the Marshall County Technical Center.
“I like to watch the metal form, really,” he said. “I like to watch it melt, and you can see your welds and everything. I like to fabricate, to make something.”
Duckett has 2F certification in welding as well as T-joint certification, D1 insert certification and 10-hour training through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
“I’d like to be a plumber; either that or the fitters,” he said of his career aspirations.
Duckett also works for Beacon Dragway, doing landscaping work and other tasks.
Steven Freeman, a welding instructor at the Marshall County Technical Center, said Duckett has been a hard-working student from the start.
“He’s one of these kids you look for,” he said. “It doesn’t take a lot of direction to get him going; he knows once you tell him something.
“He’s not afraid to work; he wants to work. He wants to make money.”
Freeman said Duckett has become especially skilled at gas metal arc welding.
“We’ve been building trailers as fundraisers,” Freeman said. “We built a kayak trailer last year, and he did 99% of all those. I gave him some dimensions and drawings, and we kind of looked at things.
“He’s very detail-oriented and very self-motivated.”
In his free time, Duckett enjoys duck hunting and riding four-wheelers. He is the son of Dustin Duckett of Calvert City and Amanda Stevenson of Mayfield.
The Marshall County Technical Center is on the campus of Marshall County High School and services students from that school.
A story featuring the AGC of Western Kentucky Technical Center Student of the Week will run in The Paducah Sun each Friday 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 Marshall County Technical Center, this year’s 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 County, Mayfield-Graves County Area Technology Center, Murray-Calloway County Area Technology Center and Paducah Area Technical Center.
At the area technical centers, students are learning skills in areas such as welding, carpentry, machine tool technology, automotive technology, electricity and industrial maintenance that will help them join the workforce upon graduation and help fill the need for skilled workers in this area.
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