Nathan Ellis already knows what he’s doing after graduation and he’s not going to wait around for it, either.
The senior at Red Creek High School has studied for the last two years at the Wayne Technical and Career Center in Williamson to become an electrician. He plans to join O’Connell Electric Co. and become an apprentice.
“I’m jumping right in,” he said. “There is a lot of work out there, plus I believe electrical [work] is never going to die. You are always going to need lights.”
Ellis and three other students were celebrated during SkillsUSA and Klein Tools’ National Signing Day to recognize high school seniors dedicated to pursuing advancement in the trades by entering the workforce, through further study in college or by joining the military.
Cameron Montroy, a senior at Palmyra-Macedon High School, plans to attend Morrisville State College. Clyde-Savannah senior Roger Silcox intends to join the U.S. Marines, and Red Creek senior Justin Kush plans to attend Onondaga Community College.
“This is not an easy trade,” said Jim Buck, an electrical instructor at WTCC. “They’ve got to be committed, but it does pay off in the end.”
Many employers in the skilled trades are facing a labor shortage, according to a report by the state Department of Labor. The shortage has allowed WTCC students studying a trade to find jobs after graduation.
National Signing Day was held in front of school administrators, teachers and other students at WTCC, and was a part of a broader effort that took place around the country.
In addition to announcing their future plans by signing letters of intent, students received a Klein Tools kit consisting of a hat, T-shirt, bag and pair of professional-grade pliers to start their careers.