CATEC students celebrate employment with signing ceremony

It's not your average "signing day" where athletes declare where they're going to play sports.
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 5:48 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Students from the Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center had their very own “signing day” Thursday, May 20, but it had nothing to do with sports. Many of them are celebrating their new placement with full-time jobs.

“We’re celebrating their employment and the start of their career path into the world,” CATEC Director Stephanie Carter said.

Carter said students like William Gilbert and Daniel Snoddy, both of whom were part of Thursday’s celebration, are in high demand.

“One of the things that became really clear to us during the pandemic is really a place where we’re really training a lot of essential workers. As the economy reopens and everything starts moving forward in a more normal way, the students here are in really high demand for employment,” she said.

The two will work at Southern Air, an HVAC, plumbing, and electrical company as part of the school’s placement program.

“A lot of people lost their job during the pandemic, and for me to be 18, still in high school and have a full-time job, that’s pretty good,” Snoody said. “Definitely feel blessed and lucky to be a part of this.”

Employers like Southern Air say they’re ready for the job ahead.

“That’s where we get our best employees from. It’s just basically them graduating from the CTE programs and coming to work with us full time,” Sierria Phillips, who works for the company, said.

Gilbert said it’s his teacher who deserve the credit.

“Working with Mr. Trimmer and his class has taught me a lot about basic electrical and basic construction just overall. We learn a little bit of anything. He’s taught me a lot of the basics to get me an internship at Southern Air,” Gilbert said. “I’m super glad that I’ve gotten this opportunity.”

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