Empty words: Students speak out about promised aluminum mill


ASHLAND, KY (WOWK) – Students enrolled in the Advanced Integrated Technology program at Ashland Community and Technology College were expecting to go straight into the workforce. With Braidy Industries’ aluminum mill still an empty lot, students are being forced to find work elsewhere.

The first graduating class from the AIT program was left with empty promises as they finish their final semester. Braidy Industries’ plan to build an aluminum mill in Eastern Kentucky, next to ACTC, has been at a standstill for two years now.

Without the mill, students have been looking at other options in their field. Students enrolled in the program like Justin Turner are looking toward a future without Braidy in the picture.

Focusing on trying to reach out to other companies that are going to be interested in us. We had had multiple companies come in and look at the program and they expressed a lot of interest in us.

Justin Turner

The program coordinator, Michael Tackett, has expressed his confidence in his student’s career decisions. Larger companies in the area like Toyota, Marathon and Vesuvius have expressed interest in hiring students after they’ve graduated.

Tackett says that his students are “top notch” and have developed the necessary skill sets needed to work in different lines of industry.

They would be a great technician in a maintenance department, electrical or other. We focus heavily in this program on troubleshooting. You seem them now, they’ve learned the skills and now they have to apply them.

Michael Tackett

Tackett is also hopeful that the aluminum mill will be successfully built in the near future, but for now, the students will be forced to find jobs with other companies.

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