Xavier Bumphus is a third-year student in the plumbing program at Caldwell Regional Career Center, which gives him an edge when looking for a job in the field once he graduates.
The Caldwell County High School senior was student of the week with the Associated General Contractors at Western Kentucky Technical Center last week, the March 10 issue of The Paducah Sun announced.
The Caldwell Regional Career Center is the only technical center in western Kentucky to offer a plumbing program, giving students taking courses in this program a distinct advantage over other western Kentucky students when entering this field.
There are seven technical centers in western Kentucky that are featured in the technical center’s Student of the Week articles. Each offers a variety of programs that students can attend to gain skills for everyday life or to pursue a career in the world of work.
Bumphus – who goes by the name Zavy – said he came to plumbing because of the lack of plumbing companies in the area.
“It seems like a pretty good deal to start with,” he said. “I feel like I know what I’m doing (in class) and it’s pretty easy to fix things around the house like the sink, the bath, the toilet — I think that’s a plus too.”
Bumphus has earned its Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10 Hour Certification. He played soccer for the Caldwell Tigers during his junior and senior years and basketball throughout high school.
“Every other Sunday, I go to a Community Disciples Youth Group with Ms. Paulette Gray and Mr. Victor Gray, and we’re just helping people throughout the community,” he said. “Sometimes we go around the community picking up trash, we go on field trips, and sometimes they take us on college trips.”
After graduating, Bumphus said he wants to find a job this summer and is considering going to West Kentucky Community and Technical College to train to become a plumber. In his spare time, Bumphus enjoys being outdoors, playing soccer or basketball with friends, and fishing.
William Eldridge is Bumphus’ Plumbing Instructor at Caldwell Regional Career Center.
“He’s a super kid,” he said. “I think he could do anything he wants to do if he puts his mind to it.
“(The class) built something like a tiny house in the store. The boys are renovating the tiny house which has a bathroom, kitchen and utility room. It’s not a real house – it looks like it – it has different stations.”
Eldridge said there are two other engineering centers in the state that offer plumbing services and they are located in the Louisville area.
“I just heard the union representative (Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 184) speaking to the class and he said journeyman plumbers make $40 an hour and that’s four years out of high school,” he said.
Bumphus is the son of Leslie Larue and Patrick Murphy from Princeton.
A story with the AGC of Western Kentucky Technical Center Student of the Week runs in The Sun every Friday through March 31, with recipients selected by instructors and administrators in the seven area technical centers, students in the 13 westernmost counties of the state.
In addition to the Caldwell Regional Career Center, the 29 AGC of Western Kentucky Technical Center Students of the Week are selected from Ballard County Career and Technical Center, Four Rivers Career Academy in Fulton County, Marshall County Technical Center, Mayfield-Graves County Area Technology Center, Murray-Calloway County Area Technology Center and Paducah Area Technical Center.
The Caldwell Regional Career Center serves students from Caldwell County, Crittenden County, Dawson Springs, Lyon County, and Trigg County high schools. In addition to plumbing, the technical center offers courses in vehicle technology, carpentry, electrical engineering, health sciences, information technology and welding.
AGC of Western Kentucky is hosting a banquet for this year’s 29-year Technical Center student of the week on April 27 at Marshall County High School. The students will receive awards and the Technical Center Student of the Year and a Regional Technical Center Student of the Year will be announced.
At area technical centers, students learn skills in many career areas that will help them enter the workforce upon graduation and meet western Kentucky’s need for a skilled workforce.