Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

September 24, 2013

Looking to the future

BSCTC student using layoff to learn new skills

Prestonsburg — Instead of dwelling on the past, David Goode is taking control of his future through the help of Big Sandy Community and Technical College.

 Goode, 48, of East Point in Johnson County, was laid off by James River Coal in January after spending a year working as a shift mechanic at the Long Fork and Bevins Branch surface mines. He entered the mining industry an unconventional way. While his grandfather and great-grandfather mined coal, he grew up in Florida and worked many years in the construction industry in Brunswick, Ga.

 That’s when the housing market collapsed in 2008. He returned to coalfields because of family ties and the lure of working in the coal industry. A year later, Goode became a statistic, joining nearly 5,000 eastern Kentucky residents to lose their jobs in the coal industry.

 “At that point you have a choice: You can either become a statistic or you can evolve with the times,” he said. “I chose to change, to learn a new skill and to make myself marketable in the new economy.”

 Goode enrolled at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Thanks to the HOME (Hiring our Miners Everyday) program, administered through the federally-designated Workforce Investment Board — Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. — Goode got his books and tuition paid for, and he’s pursuing a career in electrical technology.

 “It’s a chance for a new beginning, and I have a lot more work left in me,” he said. “It’s something I have always been interested in, and I hope to gain a job I can stay in long term in eastern Kentucky.”

 C.W. Vanhoose, an instructor in the electrical technology program on the Mayo campus of BSCTC, said students like Goode are driven to succeed.

 “They’ve been there and done that… They approach it with a great desire to learn,” he said. “These miners have no choice, as they want to take care of their families.”

 Goode laughs when describing his class. “I’m the oldest one in there, but I can do just about anything, including browsing the Internet on my phone.”

 Approaching college much later in life can be intimidating, said Goode. His first couple of days consisted of spending time in Adult Education to brush up on math skills.

 “The college has so many resources, like Adult Education, to make the transition smooth and ensure success,” Goode said. “Just as in life, if you want it bad enough, you can get it.”

 Goode hopes to find a position with a local electrical utility or natural gas company.  “We have the skills to make it,” he continued. “We just have to be willing to learn.”

 To learn more about Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s technical programs, visit bigsandy.kctcs.edu.

 For more information on the HOME initiative, visit ekcep.org.

Text Only
Local News
  • News in brief, 07/24/14

    A Fleming County man was arrested on sex charges Tuesday by the Kentucky State Police.

    July 23, 2014

  • Boyd/Greenup backpack program turns 10

    For 10 years, the Ashland Alliance Young Professionals Association has been helping children start their school year off right.

    July 23, 2014

  • Area water plants recognized

    Water treatment plants across the state were recognized for consistently producing drinking water in 2013 that exceeded state and federal water quality standards, including the Rattlesnake Ridge Water District in Olive Hill and six others.

    July 23, 2014

  • City gives wastewater treatment plant operations to Greenup agency

    During joint special meetings of the Greenup Joint Sewer Agency and the Wurtland city commission on Tuesday, Wurtland agreed to hand over operations of its wastewater treatment plant to the agency.
    Pending the signing and approval of certain legal documents, plant operations will officially be under the GJSA on Aug. 1.

    July 23, 2014

  • Edelen studies fiscal health of rural hospitals

    On the fourth stop of his listening tour to address the fiscal health of rural hospitals, Adam Edelen said the crowd in Morehead was the largest he has seen yet.
    The big attendance attests to how seriously the region regards the issue of sustainability of local hospitals, he said.

    July 23, 2014

  • Putnam renovations ‘coming together’ as football season approaches

    Locker rooms are beginning to take shape at Putnam Stadium as rebuilding of the venerable arena nears completion.
    Workers are readying concrete forms on the home side and grading the site on the visitors’ side and soon will erect the structures, the goal to have them ready to use for the first home game of the 2014 season Aug. 22.

    July 23, 2014

  • Huntington man wanted for armed robbery

    The Ashland Police Department is searching for an 18-year-old Huntington man who was involved in an armed robbery last month.

    July 23, 2014

  • Detroit man arrested near Fairview

    A Detroit man was arrested Wednesday after an undercover drug buy near Fairview High School, the Boyd County Sheriff's Department reported.

    July 23, 2014

  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Construction at Kentucky football stadium to go on

    The $110 million construction project at the University of Kentucky’s Commonwealth Stadium will continue through the upcoming football season with the goal of finishing renovations before the 2015 kickoff.

    July 23, 2014