From Displaced Worker to the Dean’s List, Student Finds Success at MCTC | MCTC

From Displaced Worker to the Dean’s List, Student Finds Success at MCTC

October 1, 2020
by Brady Shultz


Maysville Community and Technical College(MCTC) student, Robert Kitchen’s story is one that is familiar to many. But, thanks to a change in fortune and little hard work, his story is set to have a happy ending.   

Robert grew up working on this family’s tobacco farm and knew he wanted to stay near home to be close to family. So like many, he looked for jobs within the local industry.  

In addition to farming, Robert found work as a limestone mineworker and eventually landed a great job at the nearby Dayton Power and Light (DP&L) power station located just across the river in Ohio. 

It was a good job and he enjoyed his work there but when news of the plant’s closing was announced, Robert knew he needed something different next time. He was determined to find a way to ensure his next career path was one that would keep him employed long-term and eliminate the worry of being downsized.  

He needed a high-paying, high-demand career and thanks to a tuition assistance program designed to re-train dislocated workers by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services he was able to enroll in the Air Conditioning Technology program at MCTC.    

Robert Kitchen in the Maysville Campus HVAC lab with instructor Matt Watkins.“From the moment I met Robert, I knew he was going to be successful,” says MCTC Instructor Matthew Watkins. “He was driven and has stepped up to each challenge we have given him. I’m looking forward to seeing where he goes from here…which honestly, can be anywhere he wants,” Watkins added.  

But, student life for Robert hasn’t always been easy. Like most college students, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted his studies since last March when many of the college’s classes had to move to on-line and remote learning.  Complicating matters, Robert lives in an area of Mason county where high-speed internet isn’t available so he found himself taking advantage of expanded internet access in the school’s parking lot and limited access in computer labs when the campus was able to re-open to keep up with his studies.   

Even a car accident that landed him in the hospital for a week this past summer couldn’t keep him from completing his coursework.  

Despite these challenges, he has been named to the Dean’s list multiple semesters and has most recently been named MCTC’s Student of the Month for October. 

In December, Robert will graduate with an Associate of Applied Science Degree from MCTC and his future has never looked brighter. 

To learn how MCTC can help get your career back on track as it has for Robert Kitchen visit