Rogersville’s Local Heating and Cooling wants to encourage more students to consider a career in trades, so, this year, they offered their first scholarship to incentivize trade school.
This year’s recipient is Cherokee High School senior Isaiah Lucas, who is already putting the $500 scholarship to good use.
Lucas actually began attending Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT)’s Phipps Bend campus in June to pursue a certification in administrative office technology, and he told the Review that he is already enjoying the program.
Lucas became interested in this field after working as an office assistant during his senior year at CHS.
“My senior year, I was an office assistant, and I really enjoyed it,” he told the Review. “Before my senior year, I took an interest in cars, but I hadn’t quite gotten the hang of it. When I took the office assistant job, I really fell in love with it.”
He has also considered pursuing a degree in education after graduating from TCAT, though he told the Review that he hasn’t totally decided yet. He has also considered working in the office of a factory or industrial site.
“When I found out that I got the scholarship, was excited, but also a little surprised,” Lucas said. “It came at a time when I wasn’t really thinking about it, so I wasn’t expecting it.”
Local Heating and Cooling employee Stan Bradley told the Review that Lucas’s scholarship application really stood out from the others that they received.
“Lucas had a recommendation from faculty, and he had never missed a day of school,” Bradley said. “He also had a 3.4 GPA. All of that was impressive, but the letter really praised his cooperation and dedication. He finished what he started.”
“I actually didn’t ask for the letter of recommendation,” Lucas said. “The teacher knew that I was applying for the scholarship and took it upon herself to write the letter. I didn’t know she was doing it, and they (Local Heating and Cooling) didn’t ask for it.”
He went on to tell the Review that he tried to cultivate a good relationship with all of his teachers at school.
“Since Kindergarten, I always tried to help my teachers in any way that I could, and I always tried to be involved in the classroom,” he said. “If they needed something taken to the office, if they needed something organized, or anything they needed done in the classroom—I would do it.”
Bradley also told the Review that they were impressed with Lucas’s humility.
“He is certainly deserving,” Bradley said. “When you see someone who has been as committed as he has to his education, you know that he is going to start and finish this project.”
Bradley told the Review that he hopes more young people will consider attending a technical school.
“We truly believe that the trades are where it’s at,” he said. “We respect anyone who chooses four years of college, but, in the trades, you can come out of school, begin work, and probably be earning a good income when a four-year graduate is just coming out of school and looking for a job. The service industry is always going to need fulfilled. As far as our line of work, people will always want to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We believe that the trades are really for the future.”
There are actually several young adults who are currently employed by Local Heating and Cooling.
“One of my guys right now actually came from the HVAC school at TCAT’s Phipps Bend,” said owner Junior Haney. “He’s been with us for close to a year now.”
Though this is the first time Local Heating and Cooling has offered a school scholarship, they hope to continue this tradition.
“We really want to be investing in the community,” Bradley said. “The way to do that is to invest in our young people who are soon going to the professionals in the community. This is the first scholarship we’ve given. We wanted it to be a direct investment in the community. This way we know where the money is going, and we know it is going to be useful.”