Monday, December 11, 2023

‘Signing Day’ celebrates CTE grads entering the workforce

Chronicle Managing Editor Cathy DeDe writes: The BOCES Career and Technical Education program of Warren-Washington-Saratoga-Hamilton Counties held its second-ever “Signing Day” Thursday, June 9, at the Park Theater in Glens Falls.

It’s a celebration modeled on Division One college sports signing events. Here, students signed letters of intent to begin work at area firms after graduation. Thirteen students attended in person, and as of last week, 31 students in all had secured guaranteed employment after graduation, BOCES said.

Many of the students had already interned at their respective or other companies.

Graduating, with a job — Back row, from left: Austen Douglas of Saratoga, Jeff Long of Schuylerville, Hayden Sirchia of Corinth, David Kuzmiak of Queensbury, Austin Williams of Queensbury, Brady Shores of Hudson Falls, Connor Lijewski of Shenendehowa and Nathan Hughes of Ballston Spa. Front: Rafe Maxwell of South Glens Falls, Shae Grignon of Ballston Spa, Benjamon Lamos of Newcomb, Dawson Shippee of Corinth and Alden Hess of Burnt Hills. Chronicle photo/Cathy DeDe

After putting pen to paper, some signees received logo’d hats, T-shirts or other swag from their employers. One received a new power drill and construction tool belt.

Families applauded as the students, many in fresh-pressed blue jeans or khakis, workboots and cowboy boots — took their turn on the stage.

The students graduated with certificates in construction, welding, HVAC, cosmetology and other fields.

The employers they’re joining include Adirondack Studios; Koke, Inc; Bonacio Construction, Becton Dickinson, D.A. Collins, Jack Hall Plumbing and more.

CTE Principal Jared Davis told the group, “We talk about it all the time in the CTE program, to staff, parents and students: There is a gap of skilled labor in our region. You didn’t close that gap this evening, but you have added more and more skilled people to the workforce.

BOCES Assistant Superintendent Nancy DeStefano said, “There are many students who go off to college and to the military after graduation. We applaud these students who are going directly into the workforce, and feel it is important to celebrate you.”

Mr. Davis added, “We are proud of you — and when you own your own million-dollar business, come back and think of us!”

The first CTE Signing Day took place in 2019. It was paused two years due to Covid, public relations person Maribeth Macica told The Chronicle.

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