February 21, 2014 9:15AM
When Kasey Paddock decided to follow his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps to Pittsburg State University, he knew it would lead to a wealth of opportunities.
But the Clinton, Mo., native didn’t quite expect what’s coming this weekend.
Paddock, a junior manufacturing engineering major, will travel to Rijssen, a town in the Dutch province of Overijssel, to receive training on a new piece of metal-cutting equipment.
“I’ve worked at Unique Metals in Pittsburg for about a year and a half,” Paddock said. “We recently purchased these new saws, and a coworker and I are flying to The Netherlands to receive training on them. It’s quite an exciting opportunity.”
Paddock will train at Voortman Steel Machinery during the trip, which lasts from Feb. 22 to March 1. It will be his first trip out of the United States.
“Even though I’m a bit leery of the 10-hour flight, I’m extremely excited about this chance to travel and experience a different culture,” he said. “It’s quite an honor. It feels like the chance of a lifetime.”
Paddock said that while the trip was made possible by Unique Metals, he credits the technology programs at Pittsburg State with leading him to this opportunity.
“If not for Pittsburg State, I probably don’t come to Pittsburg and get this job at Unique Metals,” he said. “I’m a third-generation Gorilla, and the technology programs here are second to none.”
Unique Metals Fabrications, Inc., has also played a major role in the construction of the Center for the Arts, as the company has supplied and fabricated more than a million pounds of steel for the new facility.