Friday was a big day for nine seniors going through different programs at the King Career Center as they signed on for prestigious apprenticeships for companies around the state.

This last semester has been a busy one for Adam Pavia, who has been fixing up his father’s truck as part of his Diesel Power class.

“There wasn't really any boost that it was producing, it was weak on power,” the 18-year-old explained.

When he came to KCC from Benny Benson High School, Adam wasn’t sure what he wanted for his future.

Through the automotive classes, he found a love for fixing large pieces of equipment.

“I like diesel and cars in general, but I thought it would be easier and a lot better. I wouldn't have to cram myself into [a] small vehicle,” Pavia laughed.

His passion has paid off.

Pavia is one of 10 people from around the Pacific Northwest selected for NC Machinery’s “Think Big” program. He’ll train to work on Caterpillar heavy machinery and equipment used in the oil and gas and mining industries.

“I think I made a good impression during my interview and showed how driven I am in this career field,” Pavia said.

Diesel Power instructor Brent Richey said the apprenticeship is a huge honor. Only three other Alaskans have been chosen right out of high school.

“That is very prestigious. The mining industry, construction industry, everything is based off a Caterpillar engine or piece of equipment. To be moving forward, Adam is going to have a long, successful career,” Richey said.

At the end of his two-year apprenticeship, Pavia is guaranteed a well-paying job and plans to build his career in Alaska.

“I'd like to become a journeyman technician and go work up north and be able to go fix the village generators,” Pavia said.

This is King Career Center’s fifth annual signing day. Here is the complete list of this year’s apprentices:

  • Carpenter’s Local 1281: Josh Catiller & Kie Curtiss
  • Able Body Shop: Ironn Signey
  • Alaska Laboror’s Local 341: Tyson Solomon
  • Ryan Air: Ahmao Sweeney
  • NECA Alaska Chapter & IBEW Local 1547: Jayden Hamilton
  • Visser Construction: Matthew Klotz
  • NC Machinery Think Big Program: Adam Pavia
  • Iron Workers Local 751: Noah Powell

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