GLENS FALLS — Eight area students took part in the first-ever BOCES Signing Day Monday night, when students completing trade programs signed letters of intent for full-time employment after graduation.
Skilled labor employers have been feeling the shortage of qualified workers in the area for …
Modeled after the day college-bound athletes sign letters of intent, the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES has created its own day for students to accept job offers from area employers.
Schuylerville high senior Jasmine Sirois gave the keynote address and reminded other students that failure is inevitable, but learning from mistakes, just like they did in their classes and internships, is most important for growth.
“Every one of you should be beyond proud tonight. Be proud of your accomplishments,” Sirois said. “You’ve all faced a variety of challenges in the last two years, but look where you are now.”
BOCES Superintendent Jim Dexter also spoke and said the night was designed to celebrate students who have done great work in an area that isn’t always appreciated. He said the roles BOCES students have shouldn’t go unappreciated, because they are “important to our economy and important to our community.”
Twenty-one seniors from Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties have already committed to local jobs, doing things such as welding, nursing assistance and HVAC repair.
Companies in the area have reported struggling to find enough skilled workers.
School officials have been working to make trade skill programs accessible and comprehensive — so comprehensive that kids finishing these programs are often ready to walk straight into full-time jobs after graduation.
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One of those students, Hudson Falls high senior Breanne Lewis, signed her letter of intent with Fort Hudson Health System to start as a certified nursing assistant after graduation. She said the night served as a great connector between students and employers.
“I don’t think people feel self-confident in what they do at BOCES sometimes,” Lewis said. “I feel something like this will help them feel more confident about what they’re doing in the future.”
The representatives from Fort Hudson who signed the paperwork with her — Director of Nursing Holly Vaughn and Director of Human Resources Elizabeth Parsons — said these events showcase the hard work BOCES students do over the course of their programs.
“We’re fortunate to be a clinical site for this program, so we know first-hand how hard these students work day in, day out,” Parsons said.
Vaughn said many employers need the skilled BOCES students.
“It’s going to show other people that local facilities are depending on BOCES to produce these kinds of students,” Vaughn said.