WEST ORANGE, NJ, Nov. 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WEST ORANGE, NJ – Lincoln Educational Services Corporation (NASDAQ: LINC), a national leader in specialized technical training for more than 20 hands-on career fields, has announced that a graduate from its Grand Prairie, TX campus has been selected as a Veteran Graduate of the Year by Career Colleges & Schools of Texas (CCST). Steven Midkiff, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and dual-credential holder from Lincoln Tech, was selected for his outstanding academic record as a student for the career he has carved out for himself since graduating.

“As a student, and as a business owner, I strive to make my minimum higher than everyone else’s average,” Midkiff says.  “Make your performance be the standard by which others measure excellence.”

This is CCST’s first year presenting the Outstanding Veteran Graduate Award; Midkiff was one of two veteran graduates selected from among more than 600 member schools across Texas.

“We know that veteran students are an important part of the career and trade schools ethos,” says Jerry Valdez, Executive Director of CCST. “We wanted to highlight the efforts of special veteran graduates during this year’s Virtual Conference.”

Candidates for the award were evaluated based on their performance in their fields of study, their ability to serve as a role model for other students, and the professional development they displayed since completing their education.

Midkiff served for nearly 10 years in the Navy, spending much of that time stationed on the U.S.S. Truman. He completed his service as a Machinist Mate, First Class, where he was tasked with not only mechanical repairs but also damage control: he sought out qualification to respond to fires, toxic gas releases, flooding, and other on-board emergencies. He also was a member of the ship’s on-board medical response team.

“As a worker, I think it’s important to think of yourself as a Swiss Army knife,” he says. “Be someone that can be counted on in a variety of situations and crises.”

After completing his service, Midkiff worked in a Texas oilfield. When his father fell ill, he left his job to return home and care for his mother; after his father passed away, he enrolled at Lincoln Tech for Diesel and Truck Technology training in order to grow his skill set. He completed his training and graduated in 2019, then followed that up by earning a Diploma in Welding Technology from Lincoln Tech earlier this year. He now owns and operates Kiva Fabrication in Grand Prairie. The name and logo were chosen to honor both his father and grandfather, both of whom were hands-on tradesmen as well.

“I don’t do things for the accolades,” he says. “I’ve always been driven to do my best in order to make them proud. Thanks to them, my work now speaks for itself.”

Kiva Fabrication provides carpentry and metal fabrication services, emphasizing fair pricing for customers and above-market wages for Midkiff’s crew members. Kiva’s focus is on service and quality work, not profits, as Midkiff works to set the best example for his children.

“I’m a father of six,” he says. “Seeing how I handled going back to school showed them how to be better students and develop strong study habits. The military helped me develop a strong work ethic, and that’s something I want to pass on to my children by example.”

“Steven was an exemplary student during his time at our campus,” says Mike Couling, President of the Grand Prairie campus.  “He made the Honor Roll during every term and he represents everything you’d want a member of our Armed Forces to be. We’re proud to know that CCST selected him for this prestigious recognition, but we also aren’t surprised. I would be hard-pressed to think of anyone more deserving for this award than Steven.” 

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About Lincoln Educational Services Corporation

Lincoln Educational Services Corporation is a leading provider of diversified career-oriented post-secondary education. Lincoln offers recent high school graduates and working adults career-oriented programs in five principal areas of study: automotive technology, health sciences, skilled trades, information technology, and hospitality services. Lincoln has provided the workforce with skilled technicians since its inception in 1946. 

Lincoln currently operates 22 campuses in 14 states under four brands: Lincoln Technical Institute, Lincoln College of Technology, and Euphoria Institute of Beauty Arts and Sciences.  Lincoln also operates Lincoln Culinary Institute in the states of Connecticut and Maryland.

For more information, visit lincolntech.edu.

Peter Tahinos
Lincoln Educational Services
(973) 736-9340 x49233
PTahinos@lincolntech.edu