TORRINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) – Imagine graduating from high school and walking right into a job. That’s what can happen when you go to a technical high school.
News 8 was on hand for signing day at Oliver Wolcott Technical High School in Torrington, which is a day when seniors sign up with their future employers in front of family and friends and start making a paycheck the day after graduation.
These are the big leagues for these students because they’re on their way. Twenty-seven students signed a certificate of intent to pursue a career as a professional in the skilled trades.
“We’re very proud of our program here. I like to think it permeates all through the building at all grade levels. The younger kids come in and see what the older kids are doing and that’s a goal for them,” said Richard Shellman, Principal at Wolcott Technical High School.
The young men and women will work in a number of skilled trades including carpentry, auto collision, plumbing, mechanical design, and engineering. These students have a leg up financially because at 18 years old, they’re already setting out on their careers.
“These trades are well-paying career fields and our students who go into these trades are starting their careers. Graduation is on the last day of school and the kids are really starting those careers on the 19th of June,” Shellman said.
One of the employers in attendance to take on one of his new employees knows the success of the program. He’s a 1996 graduate of the school. What he learned there set him on a path in the trades and he’s never looked back.
“Not everybody can be a doctor or a lawyer. We still need tool makers, machinists, plumbers, and carpenters. We still need them all. A couple of years ago, everybody went to college and nobody went into the trades. Now, look at us. We’re hurting. Go to school, call me,” said Mike Guerrera, H&T Battery.
It’s a good feeling knowing right out of high school you have a skill that people need immediately. Hats off to all the students who signed onto their future on this special day.