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Ivanka Trump visits area


PRESTONSBURG & PAINTSVILLE – When the president’s daughter and advisor, Ivanka Trump, along with Governor Matt Bevin, visited the area last week, several people from Magoffin County sat in on the roundtable discussion. 

Four (current or past) students of the Magoffin County Learning Center were included in the roundtable discussion on Friday, October 26, hitting on topics such as jobs, technical programs and childcare costs.

Elizabeth Chaffins, who went through the Magoffin County Learning Center to earn her GED and CNA certification, and is now working full-time while taking college classes, told the Independent the experience was very nerve-racking.

“Getting to see the president’s daughter was amazing, but to actually get to sit down at the table and have a conversation about technical programs that can change the lives of students in our hometown was a moment I will never forget,” Chaffins said. 

Trista Arnett, who also earned her GED and CNA certification through the MCLC and is now working full-time while taking college classes, described the experience, as well. 

“Very nerve-racking, but I loved getting to meet her,” Arnett said. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will never forget.”

When asked about topics covered in the discussion, Arnett said, “The most important thing for me was lowering child care because it takes two parents working full-time to make it these days and most child care is higher than what some people pay for rent a month.”

Chaffins elaborated on the discussion further, stating, “We talked about how technical programs can change the lives of students here in Kentucky. One of the most important topics that was brought by BSCTC president Zylka was that Big Sandy has been partnering with organizations such as Silver Liner and Logan Steel Corp., giving students that take these training programs a chance at life with a job opportunity. These technical programs are amazing and give Kentuckians a way to make a decent day’s wage. One thing that Governor Bevin said that really caught my attention was why not have corporations come here in our communities instead of trained workers having to leave home to find a job.”

D.J Fay and Calvin Wireman, who both earned three welding certificates through the MCLC welding program and are planning to go to BSCTC to earn more welding certifications, also sat in on the discussion in Prestonsburg. Wireman is employed by Logan and Fay is seeking employment. 

Vickie Jo Howard, with the Adult Learning Center, said, “Each of the students talked about how important these programs have been and how their lives have changed since they earned these certifications. They are thankful for the opportunities they’ve been given.”

Prior to the stop at the college, Trump and Bevin stopped at eKEntucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute (eKAMI) in Paintsville, touring the facilities and talking with students and instructors. Students Logan Howard and Jordan Salyer, both from Salyersville, talked with Trump, as well.




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