LEXINGTON – When Hunter Wolford looks at the wall in his office, he sees an Associate of Applied Science degree he earned in Computer-Aided Drafting from Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) in 2016.
The degree means a lot, but how Jerry Howard, associate professor of Computer-Aided Drafting at BSCTC, made him feel has – and will have – a life-long impact.
“I attended Big Sandy for the first year, and thought I wanted to transfer to a four-year school,” said Wolford, who now works as a draftsman for Lexington-based Prestress Services Industries (PSI). He is originally from Coal Run and attended Pike County Central High School. “I went the four-year route. I didn’t fit in. I felt distanced from my own education, plus I missed that close-knit community I had at Big Sandy.”
So, Wolford’s journey to a two-year degree was three.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said. “I learned a lot of lessons, and the big thing I learned was to not take the great education and personal attention you get at Big Sandy for granted.”
Wolford said he and Howard immediately established a connection.
“He [Howard] answered all of our questions,” recalled Wolford. “He would stay late or come in early to help us. I had no doubt that he was 100 percent invested in the success of my classmates.”
Howard actually gave Wolford the lead on the job he has now.
“Part of my duty as a teacher is to equip the students with the tools and knowledge to compete for jobs in the field,” said Howard. “It is also part of my job to work with business and industry and connect our graduates with opportunities.”
Wolford’s job includes creating structures, or castings, for bridge beams.
“I couldn’t do this type of work if it weren’t for what I learned at Big Sandy,” he said. “And I wouldn’t have this job if I didn’t meet Jerry.”
Wolford is one of three former BSCTC Computer-Aided Drafting and Design students working at PSI. He joins fellow alums Tony May and Camille Robinson.
For more information on the Computer-Aided Drafting and Design program at BSCTC, contact Howard at (606) 788-2851 or email [email protected]