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Career Signing Days Celebrate the Next Generation of Skilled Workers

Labor + Trade Relations

Career Signing Days Celebrate the Next Generation of Skilled Workers

As college enrollment falls, high schoolers are redirecting their attention to the skilled trades

May 23, 2022
Graduation cap on top of construction hardhat with chalkboard in background

Job openings for the skilled trades are on the rise, particularly as older demographics age into retirement, but filling those empty positions is proving to be a challenge for many companies in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. In an effort to promote opportunities for advancement in the skilled trades and to recruit a new generation of workers, schools like Brazoswood High School in Clute, Texas are hosting career signing days to celebrate students pursuing a technical career after graduation, CNBC reports.

In the last two years, high schoolers across the U.S. reported a smaller likelihood of attending a four-year school, with collective interest dropping from 71% to 51% since February 2020. Career signing days and other career opportunities for high school students hope to spark interest in the skilled trades to ultimately resolve an ever-widening labor shortage.

This spring, more than 1,000 students across 33 states took part in Career Signing Day.

In Brazoria County, just south of Houston, 48 graduating seniors, including Martinez, signed for full-time jobs at one of the chemical and petrochemical companies that make up the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council.

“The response has been phenomenal,” said Aaron Ennis, a committee chair and resource development coordinator for the Brazosport Independent School District.

“We are on the cusp of being one of the largest signing days up and down the Gulf Coast,” he added. “That’s our goal.”

 Read more

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