Those in attendance celebrated with snow cones, cakewalks and cookout foods such as hot dogs and hamburgers.
Hopkinsville Community College’s Director of the Career Solutions Center, Debbie Birdsong, said so much has happened within the community, such as plant closures and the winter storm, that the career center wanted a chance to stop and celebrate the accomplishments and the resilience of the people in Trigg County are the surrounding area, as well as share some of their success stories.
“We’ve had quite a few people here today,” Birdsong said. “Even though it’s been hot, I think everyone’s had a good time.”
More than 5,300 people have passed through the Career Solutions Center for various services since it opened late last year, according to Birdsong.
Several people at the event who have been laid off spoke about their plans, and many are going back to school.
Joyce Cavanaugh worked as a spot welder for about 10 years at the Johnson Controls, Inc., plant in Cadiz before she was laid off, and now she went back to school at Hopkinsvlle Community College in March for a two-year degree in early childhood educational development.
“I haven’t been in school in 30 years,” Cavanaugh said. “Fortunately I have my children to help me.”
Cindy Messmer, who worked for American National Rubber in Cadiz for about 11 years, was laid off from that job last December, but went back to school in March to work with medical technology.
Ryan Calhoun worked as a spot welder for JCI for 16 years before he was laid off, and he went back to school at Hopkinsville Community College in March for a two-year tech degree. He said he was “a little surprised” when JCI announced the closure of its Cadiz plant.
Billy Fortner also worked at JCI and was a spot welder there for well over 13 years when he was laid off, and he went back to school at HCC for a degree in information technology.
While the festivities were taking place, there were still a few people coming in to use the Career Center’s daily services.