Career Signing Day Celebrates Students Entering Tech

Michael Martinez wanted to be an airline pilot. But as he got older, Martinez, now 18, decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and instead became a professional welder.

In fact, a senior at Brazoswood High School in Crute, Texas, has landed a job that starts immediately after graduation.

“My father always wanted me to be white-collar,” he said, but “he was very proud of me.”

Michael Martinez on Pro Signing Day 2022.

Source: Harold Nicol

In Texas, where Martinez lives, there are more and more job openings in industry, but fewer people filling them.

Part of the labor shortage is due to experienced workers leaving the site, said Chris Witte, senior vice president and site leader at BASF, a chemical company in Freeport, Texas.

“We want to expand the talent pool, and we want to give students opportunities,” Witt said. “Our goal is to show them that these are really good, high-paying jobs.”

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To encourage more students to consider careers in the field, Martinez’s school district hosts an annual career signing day.

“This career signing day popped up,” Martinez said. “I thought I might as well give it a try.”

More and more people are getting used to the fanfare of signing days, when graduating high school seniors commit to attending specific colleges.

For college athletes traveling to prestigious schools, these occasions are especially celebrated among friends, family, and the community at large.

Now, the district is supporting and applauding high school students who have made a similar commitment to the tech industry.

Just as we celebrate a footballer or any other athlete, we want to celebrate with equal pride our skilled businessmen and women and their decisions to pursue their careers.

Shel Travis

Executive Director of SkillsUSA

“Just as we celebrate a football player or any other athlete, we want to celebrate with equal pride our skilled businessmen and women and their decisions to pursue their careers,” said Chelle, executive director of SkillsUSA, a national nonprofit that aims to build connections. Travis said students in technical careers.

“What they do is essential work.”

This spring, more than 1,000 students from 33 states participated in Career Signing Day.

In Brazoria County, south of Houston, 48 recent graduates, including Martinez, are contracted full-time at one of the chemical and petrochemical companies that make up the Brazoria County Petrochemical Commission.

These seniors from Brazoria County High School in Texas committed to full-time employment on Career Signing Day in 2022.

Photo: Billy Loveless, Brazosport Academy

This is Brazoria County’s fourth annual Pro Signing Day and its most popular day to date. The number of students applying and being hired for full-time positions has more than doubled from last year.

“The response has been excellent,” said Brazosport Independent School District Board Chair and Resource Development Coordinator Aaron Ennis.

“We’re on the verge of having one of the biggest signing days on the Gulf Coast,” he added. “That’s our goal.”

To be considered, students must submit a written application, including an essay, and interview with the hiring manager.

“We need to know that these applicants are serious about their commitment, as they may continue throughout their careers,” Ennis said.

“It’s a rigorous process because these jobs represent contracts and significant investment by BCPC member companies,” he added, which now includes 25 employers such as Chevron-Phillips Chemical, Dow Chemical, Huntsman and Vincolex.

“I was excited and scared because there were four girls [applying] And I’m not sure all or any of us will get a job offer,” said Angleton High School senior Adriana Webster.

Adriana Webster at Pro Signing Day 2022.

Source: Harold Nicol

Webster, 18, was one of KCG Industries’ students who offered a full-time welder position for $16 an hour.

“No one in my family went to college,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do; I thought welding looked like fun, and I’m pretty good at it.”

She started work in July after competing in the national welding competition (Webster was the Texas welding champion).

More and more teens are rethinking the value of college.

More students amid rising demand for workers, rising tuition and student loan burdens Choose a career-related pathway According to recent reports, four-year colleges.

Technology trade programs are booming as enrolments fall.

The likelihood of attending a four-year school has dropped 20 percent over the past two years, from 71 percent to 51 percent, according to the Minneapolis-based nonprofit ECMC Group. ECMC Group Five polls of more than 5,300 high school students have been conducted since February 2020.

Meanwhile, more than a third of high school students say they believe in career and technical education can lead them to success.

“Students today have experienced the impact of the pandemic and want to forge their own path — one that is shorter in duration, more affordable, and directly related to careers — especially in fields that require workers,” Jerry said M. Whitten, President and CEO of ECMC Group.

Another study by YouthTruth surveyed 22,000 students in the Class of 2022 and found that more than a quarter (28%) of high school seniors said their plans for college have changed since the pandemic began.

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