Jordan Ladd has spent the last three years learning about plumbing technology at the Caldwell Regional Career Center in anticipation of starting a career in the field.
The Caldwell County High School senior is this week’s Associated General Contractors of Western Kentucky Technical Center Student of the Week.
The CRCC is the only one of the region’s seven technical centers to teach plumbing technology, giving the students it services another option when they prepare to join the workforce.
Bill Eldridge is the instructor for the plumbing technology program at the Caldwell Regional Career Center. He said that area business people and members of the Caldwell County school board discussed adding programs that would be pertinent to local needs.
“They felt the need for a plumbing class,” he said. “The program has been in place since 2018, I think. This is my fourth year teaching it.
“Students learn how to use a level as well as basic learning on how to measure and cut different types of pipe and how to put that pipe together, whether it’s by glue, mechanically or using a torch or solder.”
Ladd said that he chose to study plumbing because it seemed to be a good fit for him.
“It seemed easy for me when I looked at it,” he said. “Somehow, I’ve been interested in it ever since I can remember, how to get different types of pipe and certain parts to different areas.
“I always like to design some things, and I like challenges, too.”
After studying plumbing for almost three years, Ladd said he has found that enjoys the variety that the field provides.
“I like how there’s different kinds of things to deal with,” he said. “There’s copper, PVC (polyvinyl chloride pipes), cast-iron and all the other things that you can work with.
“There are different types of challenges with different kinds of pipes, I think.”
Eldridge said that Ladd has moved forward in his three years in the program.
“Jordan is doing really, really well,” Eldridge said. “He’s always willing to volunteer to do things, and he’s willing to learn. He has the drive to learn, and that’s something that not all (students) have. He has a decent aptitude for any of the hands-on stuff.
“Plumbing is a puzzle, basically. It’s a maze, and it’s how to go from Point A to Point B by going through all of this other stuff and joining everything together, catching all the different things at one time. It just takes practice and hands-on.”
Ladd said that he plans to pursue a career in plumbing or construction fields after he graduates from Caldwell County.
“I have a construction-type style or a plumbing style that can handle more hands-on jobs,” he said. “I would like to go into plumbing or remodeling.”
Ladd helped with cleanup at his grandparents’ house and their neighbors’ houses after the Dec. 10 tornado struck Caldwell County.
Ladd is a four-year football player and track and field team member for the Tigers.
Ladd is the son of Lee and Tara Ladd of Princeton.
A story featuring the AGC of Western Kentucky Technical Center Student of the Week will run in The Paducah Sun each Friday through April 1 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 Caldwell Regional Career Center, the 29 AGC of Western Kentucky Technical Center Students of the Week are chosen from the Ballard County Career and Technical Center, Four Rivers Career Academy in Fulton County, Marshall County Technical Center, Mayfield-Graves County Area Technology Center, Murray-Calloway County Area Technology Center and Paducah Area Technical Center.
The Caldwell Regional Career Center serves students from Caldwell County, Crittenden County, Dawson Springs, Lyon County and Trigg County high school.
Along with plumbing technology, the area technology center offers courses in automotive technology, carpentry, electricity, health science, information technology and welding.
AGC of Western Kentucky will host a banquet on April 21 at Marshall County High School for this year’s Technical Center Students of the Week. Students will receive prizes, and Technical Center Students of the Year and an overall Regional Technical Center Stucent of the Year will be announced.
At the area technical centers, students are learning skills in many career areas that will help them join the workforce upon graduation and help fill the need for skilled workers in western Kentucky.