A Career in Engineering

Taking a Chance

"When you finish, you belong to us."

"I did not make it through civil engineering. The company that I started with came to me and said, 'We started your education. We want to finish it. But we want to get you to change from civil engineering.' I said, 'What do you want me to change to?' He said, 'We’d like you to change to structural and mechanical engineering.' And I says, 'Okay, can I think about it for a couple of days?' And he said, 'Sure.' And they said, 'When you finish, you belong to us.' Well, when I told Ila about it she said, 'That’s wonderful. You know you got a job. When you finish you won’t have to look for a job. You won’t move anywhere and start over. You’re here!' So I agreed and it wasn’t a mistake. It was not a mistake."

Editor's note: Alton Cadenhead and his wife, Ila, eventually settled in Calhoun, Georgia, and Cadenhead designed manufacturing plants for the Modern Fibers company around the country.