Lt. Governor Cagle Announces June Student Spotlight: Wayne McKeithan

June 25, 2018

LAGRANGE, GA – Today, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle recognized Wayne McKeithan, a recent graduate of THINC College and Career Academy, as the Lt. Governor’s June student spotlight. Each month, Lt. Governor Cagle features an exceptional Georgia College and Career Academy Student who exemplifies academic and pathway success, extracurricular involvement, and strong leadership skills.

“Wayne McKeithan is a hard-working young man with an outstanding work ethic and dedication to personal and professional growth,” said Lt. Governor Cagle. “Wayne has truly embraced the opportunities available to him at THINC College and Career Academy and in his apprenticeship, graduating with the knowledge, skills, and experience to jump-start his career. I’m proud of all Wayne’s success and he’s not only a great role model for his fellow peers, but also for students all across our state.”

“Lt. Governor Cagle’s College and Career Academy Network is generating a skilled workforce pipeline that is second to none, while offering Georgia’s students unrivaled opportunities to use their time in high school to shape their own paths and graduate career ready.” said Senator Matt Brass. “The Lt. Governor has continued leading the way not just by creating an environment to attract jobs to Georgia but also by ensuring this state has a workforce to fill those jobs. Wayne’s success demonstrates how hands on apprenticeships can both spark students to follow their passions and train them for rewarding careers. I’m proud of all his accomplishments and look forward to his continued success for our community and state.”

“As industries across Georgia and the United States struggle to engage a workforce lacking in ambition, soft-skills and a sense of direction, it is empowering to see a student like Wayne to rise above “average” to produce greatness,” said Dr. Kathy Carlisle, CEO of THINC College and Career Academy. “The most powerful influence is the courage of an industry like Milliken to remove barriers to hire a 17-year-old high school student. This is where transformation begins and a new workforce evolves.”

“I want to thank THINC Academy. Wayne is a very smart and hands-on young man. We enjoyed having Wayne work with us for two summers. I am sure Wayne has a very bright future ahead of him and we hope the best for him. We could definitely tell THINC Academy gave him an advantage compared to other young men we’ve had work here in the past,” added Matt Briston, Vice President of Buck’s Electric, Inc.

Name: Wayne McKeithan

College and Career Academy: THINC College & Career Academy

Tell us about yourself:

“My name is Wayne McKeithan, and I am a 2018 graduate of Callaway High School and THINC College & Career Academy. Two attributes I possess are an open mind and a good sense of humor. I am passionate about pursuing a career where I enjoy the work I do and where I am given the chance to live up to my potential. Others tell me that I am hard-working and that I have a positive attitude. I live by three core values: dedication, commitment, and caring for others. I demonstrate my dedication by showing up regularly and on time. I pledge my commitment by staying engaged and doing what needs to be done to the best of my ability, both personally and professionally. I prove to people that I care about them by listening and helping however and whenever I can.
I enrolled at THINC College & Career Academy when it first opened in 2015, which I attended for the remainder of my high school career and completed both the mechatronics and engineering pathways. I was selected as an electrical apprentice with Buck’s Electric my sophomore and junior years and worked there during the summer months. My senior year, I was selected as one of the first students to work as a Control Equipment Technician (CET) apprentice with Milliken. I also received the Work-Based Learning Shining Student award at THINC Academy’s Honors Night this year.”

Why did you choose to be a part of your CCA?

“I chose to attend THINC because I saw it as an opportunity to get more than a traditional high school environment and be part of a program where I was treated like an adult. At THINC, students are treated like adults and are expected to act like adults. In fact, soft skills make up 30% of our grade and we are evaluated on our behavior, which I am confident helped prepare me for my job.”

Which career pathway are you enrolled in and why?

“I was enrolled in and completed both the mechatronics pathway and engineering pathways. I enjoy hands-on work and problem-solving so these pathways made sense for me.”
What is the most valuable learning experience you have gained from your CCA?
“The most valuable learning experience I gained from THINC was to always give 110% no matter the situation, because people are watching you and mirroring you. My mentor at Milliken takes safety seriously, and he always makes sure we are being safe. We see him working to this standard and we want to be like him, so we work to that standard too.”

What services/resources at your CCA have you found to be the most valuable?

“The Career Center and the Work-Based Learning program have been the most valuable resources to me. The Career Center puts on several career-related events each year and provides opportunities to meet employers. I participated in our annual mock interview workshop, THINC Fast, each fall, which gave me the opportunity to practice interviewing and receive feedback from multiple employers on how I could improve my skills. I also attended our annual spring career fair each year where I learned more about employers in our area. I learned about the job opportunities with Buck’s Electric and Milliken through the Career Center and Ms. Brkich, THINC’s Workforce Development Manager and Work-Based Learning Instructor. As a WBL student my senior year, I gained work experience, and earned money and academic credit as a Milliken apprentice.”

What are your plans after graduation?

“I graduated high school in May and I'm already working full-time with Milliken. The Milliken apprenticeship will allow me to take classes in the fall at West Georgia Technical College. I will study electrical engineering and industrial maintenance while working full time at Milliken. I am excited about the future. I just bought myself a new car and am working to build up my credit so that I can buy a house by the end of this year.”