Kentuckiana man will be Michelle Obama’s guest at State of the Union address


by WHAS11

Posted on February 12, 2013 at 12:17 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 12 at 12:21 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Bradley Henning, 23, is heading to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday morning. He was asked to be a guest of Michelle Obama at the State of the Union address.

“I really appreciate it. It's an honor and it's a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Henning said.

Henning is a machinist at Atlas Machine and Supply in Louisville.

“Here he is, he's never been on a plane before, he's heading to the White House, he's going to be a guest of the Obamas and that’s just a phenomenal example of the opportunities that exist in this country,” Rich Gimmel, President of Atlas Machine and Supply, said.

Henning will be representing working class Americans who are expected to benefit from proposals the President will bring up in his speech, but his journey to meet the First Family really began this past summer.

“CNN wanted to talk to somebody who was advancing in skilled trade study,” Gimmel said.

That’s where Brad came in. He studied as an apprentice for four years before becoming a certified machinist, but Gimmel said more than half a million of those kinds of jobs are left open because of a shortage of skilled trade workers. After the story ran, it’s thought to have caught the attention of the White House and the official call inviting him to Washington came last week.

“He's going to be representing the principle that skilled trades are a dog gone good way to make a living,” Gimmel said.

“I’m going to take pictures. Thirty years down the road it's something I can show my kids,” Henning said.

You can watch the State of the Union address at 9 p.m. on WHAS11.