First Annual Industry Signing Day

Story by: Dr. G. Cleve PilotDirector, FCTC

As students prepare for graduation, the thought of leaving high school and transitioning into the real world is still a distant reality to most. As students walk the hallways, all they hear during that last month of school is “Where are you going next year? What school are you going to? What are your plans?” Most students tend to give the same old answer: “I’m going to college.”

For these eight students who completed a CATE program or who completed several CATE courses at Fairfield Career and Technology Center, their answer will sound a lot different from most of their peers. These eight students will be turning in their books in exchange for tools and tape measures, as they will be going to work after graduation. Tim Miller, associate from Walker White, Inc. Construction Company interviewed the students during the “Industry and Interviews Day” and saw these students had what it took to join the ranks of their company.

Though signing days are a familiar ritual for high school athletes committing to their dream colleges, a signing day for Career and Technical Education students is a new concept which recognizes students for their achievements in the Career and Technical Education area.

Students will sign their contracts or letter of agreements outlining their orientation dates, pay and benefits alongside Mr. Tim Miller, a representative from the company. This was the first signing day held at Fairfield Career and Technology Center under the Direction of Dr. G. Cleve Pilot who is completing his second year as the CATE Director.

Jalen Carter, Jametaurious Coleman, Shawn Kelly, Na’Voris Emerson, D’Angelo Gilbert, JaQuavias Owens, John Peak and Casey Trapp will be going to work beginning 17 July. These students took either welding, masonry or carpentry while enrolled at the career center. They will be utilizing the skills learned while attending the career center along with their academic preparation to assist them with their post-secondary transition. To have eight students singing to go to straight into the work field right after high school is a great accomplishment for any school. When asked what does this means for the students, Dr. Pilot responded, “This will help change the mindset of some people who feel as though the only way to be successful in life is to go to college. Students who have gained skills while attending a career center can go to work and make decent money without going to college.” Dr. Pilot further explained if students attend a career center while in school and complete a program with a state or nationally recognized certification, they would have a 99% change of graduating high school and either going to college, the military or to work, which means they will be prepared for post-secondary activities right after high school. That is what college and career readiness is all about. Fairfield County School District prides itself on ensuring opportunities for all of their graduates no matter what avenue they decide to take, they will be prepared for the journey. This is great for the school, the school district and for the county of Fairfield to ensure students are college and career ready once they complete their education in the Fairfield County School District.