GREAT BEND—Kevin Wilson wanted to make a change, for himself and for his family, and he wanted it quickly.


"I didn’t want to live paycheck to paycheck anymore," he said. "I wanted something a little more steady."


Spending years in school was out of the question so Wilson sought out programs that would be efficient and effective to improve his eonomic situation. When he discovered Barton Community College’s Scale Technician program, he said it was the perfect fit.


The program takes only one semester to complete thanks to condensed coursework. Graduates enter the workforce with a Commercial Driver’s License and are qualified to test and certify commercial and noncommercial scales in Kansas and several surrounding states, which is something that must be performed on a recurring basis.


"For someone of my age, (the fast turnaround) was very much key," he said. "It enabled us to interrupt our lives for a very short length of time, and to interrupt income for a short length of time. Then I got out on the job and started bringing in income right away."


Wilson said the cost of the program was approximately $3,700 for the entire 25-credit-hour program.


The condensed coursework was intimidating at first, but Wilson said he stayed focused and worked hard, and surprised himself with what he was able to accomplish.


"You think it’s impossible at first, but I made straight A’s all the way through; every course," he said. "It’s not impossible, and the instruction was wonderful. It’s a little intense at times, but overall it was wonderful. The instructors Vic Martin and Vince Orth never stopped until I fully understood what I needed to make me better prepared for the job."


Life improved significantly for him and his family in June of 2019 when all his hard work paid off and he landed a job with Travis Scale Co., a Liberal-based company that provides services in seven states, and the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle became a thing of the past.


"The income is definitely good, but the part I love most is getting to meet so many people from so many different walks of life," he said. "Plus, you’re guaranteed to see the countryside. It’s not just one thing all the time; every day is different."


Those interested in more information about the program can visit scales.bartonccc.edu or email Instructor Vic Martin at martinv@bartonccc.edu.