At the Aiken County Career and Technology Center on Thursday, Will Hudson listened intently as instructors Trina Greenwood and Kortney Jenkins described their combined cosmetology and nail technology programs.

Both cited the opportunities their students and others at the facility receive after high school – just the kind of information that the new Career Center director wants to hear.

Hudson, a former North Augusta High School assistant principal, was appointed on Tuesday. He will work with instructors from a wide range of programs – among them electricity, machine tools, CADD, health science, automotive technology and more.

What Hudson appreciates is that “the kids choose to come over here,” he said. “This is an environment where they can apply what they’ve learned. It helps them also at their (home) high schools ... They are a lot more focused.”

Hudson has long known his predecessor, Brooks Smith, who left in June for Greenville County as the district-wide career administrator. They worked together at South Aiken High School, where Hudson was a business teacher and Smith an assistant principal.

Smith cited Hudson’s work in the business world as well as that as a teacher.

“Will ... has a solid understanding of how the Career Center works with each of the five feeder high schools through his time as an administrator at NAHS,” Smith said via email.

Hudson grew up in a small town in north Georgia, where his dad served as a maintenance technician more than 20 years. That experience encouraged Hudson to major in operations management at Auburn University’s School of Business, which combined his interests in business, math, science and technology.

After his graduation, he worked in the private sector in Aiken. Previously, Hudson had worked with mentoring programs in college and was continuing such efforts afterward. At that time, the South Carolina public schools were hiring college graduates for “critical needs” positions.

Hudson spent a year at Allendale-Fairfax High School, teaching entrepreneurship and keyboarding.

“I had an opportunity to open their eyes about college, to let them see that something different was out there,” he said.