1+1=$20 an hour: Henry Carl leads ATC Integrated Engineering

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, December 6, 2017

For four years, Henry Carl has helped the Clark County Area Technology Center grow a program aimed at getting student good-paying jobs straight out of high school.

The Integrated Engineering  program focuses on troubleshooting and repairing problems with mechanical and electronic devices, particularly in an industrial setting. As the program developed, a partnership with Bluegrass Community and Technical College has also grown out of it, offering students a way to earn credit toward an associates degree while still in high school.

“The first year they spend with me,” Carl said. “We learn about belt- and chain-driven systems, basic electrical principals and get a good foundation for working with industrial equipment.”

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Carl teaches four different classes in integrated engineering, including equipment maintenance, electrical principals, fluid power and electric motor controls. While students are not required to take all four classes through with 1+1 program, in combination they provide a stable basis for a number of career options, such as industrial work, electrician or HVAC work.

After leaving the ATC, students then take a year or two of classes at BCTC, covering general education requirements, advanced engineering courses and getting hands-on work experience.

“The students also intern with Winchester businesses,” Carl said. “So they can do classes Monday through Thursday and then work in the field Friday through Sunday making about $12 or $13 an hour.”

Upon graduation, the students will be qualified to get jobs in the industrial sector earning more than $20 an hour.

Carl has watched the program grow carefully over the past years, and he says it wouldn’t be possible were it not for the support of several different organizations, including BCTC, the ATCs of other counties and companies that have donated materials for students to learn on. He said students also learn about robotics, and some have been taking part in VEX Robotics competitions, where they must build and program a robot capable of moving objects.

He said about 90 students are going through the program now, and since he’s in his fourth year teaching at the ATC he’s starting to see graduates move on to professional positions in the field.

Carl, who worked in industrial maintenance and engineering for Lexmark for almost two decades, said the field is always looking for more people.

“There’s always work to be done,” he said.