Trade Industries Embrace "Signing Day"

April 22, 2019 11:02 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Signing day is a rite of passage for high school seniors going on to play sports at the college level. But now, it’s something graduates going into the trades can take part in, too.

"I've taken every single wood shop that there is. Metals, I'm in fabrications right now. We're building a high mileage car to take up to Brainerd and compete," said Wabasha-Kellogg High School senior Abby Schmoker.


"The next step after graduation; I’ll go right into work," she said.

Monday, she signed with Mulcahy Nickolaus. She is one of three soon-to-be graduates honored in the first-ever signing ceremony hosted by the Carpenters Union in Rochester.

Wabasha-Kellogg senior Tucker Scott is starting his next chapter by signing with Benike Construction.

"It's crazy. It really just hits you across the face with life actually starting. I just imagine working with something I really like doing," he said.

Stewartville High School senior Brad Birch signed with Kraus Anderson.

"I've grown up in the construction industry. My dad did carpentry work and now works for Kraus Anderson as a carpenter," he said.

The students each received a hard hat from their contractor, a signed certificate and a bright green tassel to wear on graduation day.

Nick Wille with the Carpenters Union said it is important to honor these students.

"We believe it is important because so many students aren't choosing a path like this, to go into construction. So to get some students that show some interest right out of high school, it’s important to us to help showcase that and make that important to them," he said.

Schmoker said she’s looking forward to a career doing work she loves.

"I like hands-on work. I like to look at what I did after it’s done. After you finish a project you get to look at it and say, wow, I just did that," she said.

In addition to their new jobs, the students will start training. They will have 16 week-long sessions over the next four years.


Talia Milavetz

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