MCTC Grad Among Locals Now Working Remotely For IT Company | MCTC

MCTC Grad Among Locals Now Working Remotely For IT Company

March 25, 2021
by Keith Kappes

Charles Hook standing in IT room with blue wires.Charles Hook of Wallingford in Fleming County, a 2020 graduate of Maysville Community and Technical College, is among several area residents recently employed to work remotely for Lightwell, Inc. 

Lightwell is an information technology consulting company based in Dublin, Ohio, with operations in Rochester, New York, and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Hook, a former MCTC technology staff member, completed a two-year computer programming degree at MCTC in December.

“Pairing the degree with actual work experience reinforced the knowledge the IT curriculum provided me,” he said.

Hook says not having to leave home, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, has been a big stress relief. He is especially grateful to Sharon Staviski, associate professor of information technology at MCTC, for her personal recommendations that led to his part-time job at the college.

Staviski is working with Lightwell on career placement for MCTC technology graduates.

Hook and four other residents of Fleming, Menifee, and Rowan counties have been hired by Lightwell as part of the firm’s effort to recruit qualified personnel from rural areas who are able to work from home.

“Smart, motivated, and well-prepared employees are vital to companies like Lightwell,” said Kolby Kappes, Lightwell’s vice president for application development. “We’ve learned during the pandemic that everyone doesn’t have to work in the same place.”

Kappes, a Morehead native and Morehead State graduate, says hiring new staff from his hometown area is a gratifying experience.

“MCTC and MSU have solid degree programs. We appreciate their help in identifying strong candidates for our searches,” he added. Chris Sparks of Morehead and Samantha Webb of Flemingsburg acquired their skills as a result of degrees earned at MSU. Both say they are pleased with the emphasis on teamwork by companies with remote-work employees.

Sparks says the position with Lightwell means he can continue to broaden his career in IT. Being from a small town is no longer a barrier for those who want to work for larger IT firms, he said.

Webb says she is excited by the prospects of more professional growth in a new and challenging work environment. She is learning to design software for the fast-growing online education market.

Lightwell, founded in 1998, is known for its excellence in developing technology solutions that answer today’s critical business challenges.

Michelle Kerr, Lightwell’s president, says of her company’s hiring of work- at-home employees:

“While COVID-19 has been a tragedy for our country and the world at large, it has 
forced us to think differently about the way we work with our clients. We no longer 
need to concern ourselves with only hiring people that live within 20 miles of our office 
or are willing to relocate. Now we only worry about what kind of Internet connection they have.”

“This is incredibly liberating because our talent pool just grew exponentially and now include people that don’t want to live in a large city but have the aptitude and attitude to be great developers and consultants.”

More information about preparing for careers in information technology is online at maysville.kctcs.edu.