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This is not Dave Lucitt’s background at all – he just kept bugging the right people until he found what he wanted to do. 

After going to school at a four-year college for psychology and working with students in juvenile justice, child welfare and various nonprofits, Lucitt started noticing that the more he listened to other students talk, the more he heard one repeated goal – going to college. The problem was, that seemed to be their only goal. 

But at that time, it was his too. After graduating and going down a different career path for 14 tears, Lucitt started researching alternatives, and got interested in trade education options, eventually finding out about the Advanced Manufacturing program at Pickens Technical College. 

Lucitt said he came to Jenise Rosa, one of Pickens’ Career Advisors, with a simple request:

“This is what I want to do. This is what I know I want to do. Help me sign up for classes that help me do that.” After that, he was ready to get started. “I’ve been in sponge mode for two years, really… the collective knowledge and wisdom of the instructors and what they’ve lived through is super valuable.” 

A lot of what drew Lucitt (and many other students like him) to Pickens was the idea that there’s no way to really experience what working in any industry is like without doing it yourself. It would be very, very difficult to learn a lot of technical crafts without incorporating hands-on application. The lecture-style environments that traditional education tends to favor just don’t offer the same experience as touching and seeing something in a real-world scenario. 

“A guy I know – machinist, has his own business – high level, makes parts for NASA… When he was in high school he was a dropout, making fun of all the teachers and ditching classes. He had one teacher who sat him down in front of a lathe and told him he was going to learn – he did and fell in love with it.” 

Lucitt seems to have had a similar experience after spending time learning the technical side of the HVAC industry. He’s also an advocate for more emphasis on technical education, especially given high tuition rates at traditional colleges. 

“Being a part of both systems have allowed for some really interesting A/B comparison,” Lucitt says. 

“I would recommend Pickens because it’s a really great way to advocate for yourself instead of advocating for a system that has so much to gain from you… it’s a powerful investment. The question for me is, ‘Why wouldn’t you?’”