Graduate Drakko Allison Goes from Work-Study to a Promising Career
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Graduate Drakko Allison Goes from Work-Study to a Promising Career

A former work-study student at Gaston College is now well on his way toward a career in his area of Drakko Allison imagestudy, Nuclear Technology. Drakko Allison was hired by Waste Control Specialists LLC, and in May 2015 he moved to Dallas, Texas, to take a position with the firm, which provides waste treatment, storage and disposal services to the nuclear industry.

Allison graduated from Forestview High School in 2010 and was assigned to the Gaston College Life Skills program as part of a summer internship with WIA Youth Works. It was a good fit, and he continued with the program beyond summer. He enrolled in the College in fall 2010 as a work-study student in the Life Skills program.

Lisa Woodall, Coordinator for Gaston College’s Life Skills program, worked closely with Allison. “We loved Drakko,” she said. “He was interested in learning about all of our programs and we found him to be reliable and enthusiastic. Drakko got a lot of support and assistance about college life from the staff. We provided coaching on how to work with faculty, financial aid, and really, just how to navigate college.”

Their influence had a positive impact on Allison. He excelled in his classes and in 2012 he received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Workforce Development as an Outstanding Youth. Allison graduated from Gaston College in December 2013 with an associate degree in Nuclear Engineering Technology.

“Drakko graduated from one of the most academically rigorous courses at Gaston College…Nuclear Technology,” said Virgil Cox, Dean of Engineering and Industrial Technology. “He did so through hard work and an attitude that kept him looking for ways to improve his understanding of the material.”

His job application caught the attention of hiring managers at Waste Control Specialists LLC, and in February of this year, Allison was invited to visit their facility in Texas where he learned more about the company and its practices. He was offered a position as Operator II and when he accepted the job, the company relocated him to the Dallas area.

Allison intends to continue working in the nuclear industry, with a goal of working at a nuclear power plant.

The Nuclear Technology curriculum at the College prepares students to become qualified reactor field service technicians in the nuclear industry. For more information about the program, contact Janie Cooper at 704-922-6296 or

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