Students at Kentucky Tech schools in Letcher and Leslie counties received brand new supplies when Perry County Coal Corp., a TECO Coal subsidiary, last week made a donation to the welding, industrial maintenance technology and electrical technology programs at the schools.
The two schools are part of the Kentucky Tech System of 55 area technology centers administered by Kentucky Education Cabinet’s Office of Career and Technical Education.
Former Kentucky Tech Regional Director Finley Begley has knocked on the doors of businesses and industries such as Perry County Coal for over 50 years to request supplies for students.
“In my opinion, TECO Coal is an important Kentucky Tech partner, and I have enjoyed working with them because they understand what our schools need to help students become successful,” said Begley.
Through TECO’s generosity, students now have brand new hand tools, hard hats, welding helmets, cutting and safety glasses, welding wire, cable, lockout devices, switches and relays – just to name a few of the supplies donated through Begley.
“TECO Coal is a good corporate citizen, and we believe in giving back to the community,” said Paul Jackson, Perry County Coal Corp. operations director. The people that run TECO Coal live here, and we understand the importance of skilled employees.”
OCTE Executive Director John Marks and Deputy Executive Director Michael Kindred presented a plaque commemorating the donation to Jackson and Tony Pennington, purchasing director for Perry County Coal Corp.
“It’s a privilege to help these schools because they can supply us with people we can put to work,” said Pennington.
Students who complete their technical education and skills training in electrical, industrial maintenance technology and welding programs are needed by TECO Coal because they learn how to repair electrical equipment; install, adjust or maintain machinery and know how to weld, said Jackson.
“When supplies are not available, students are limited,” said Letcher County ATC Principal Barbara Ison. “This donation will make it possible for students to have additional time in the lab developing their skills.”