On Thursday, June 22, the Tri-City Regional Chamber, along with our partners, Inland Northwest Associated General Contractors (AGC), the Educational School District (ESD 123), and Tri-Tech Skills Center, hosted the second annual Tri-Cities Regional Career Signing Day at Tri-Tech Skills Center, recognizing ten students alongside their new hiring companies. Participating companies included Tire Factory (Pasco/Richland), Toyota of Tri-Cities, Columbia River Electric, Framatome, Mel’s Inter-City Collision, and Hopsteiner. Recognized graduates included students from Pasco to Prosser, with most attending Tri-Tech Skills Center and primarily from Tri-Tech’s Autobody Tech, Auto Systems Tech, Pre-Electrical, and Construction programs.
In the months leading up to Tri-Cities Regional Career Signing Day, Tri-Tech’s Worksite Learning Coordinator and program instructors worked to identify strong student candidates to interview for open employment positions. In contrast, the Chamber and NW AGC worked to identify local employer candidates from the trade/tech fields willing to interview and hire these students. As a result, six local companies extended offers of employment to ten students.
On the day of the event, the recognized students gathered with their new employers, family members, educators, business members, community members, and local and state elected officials to celebrate. During the program, educators shared their need to connect with employers to provide opportunities to their students, and employers expressed their desire to make stronger connections with the schools. Companies proudly called their new hires to the podium to welcome them to their organization, providing them with kind words and company apparel and swag. The new hires then sat at the front of the room in front of spectators, while Senator Matt Boehnke shared words of encouragement, congratulating the graduates on their success and thanking them for their contributions. To wrap up the program, the recent graduates and new employees signed their Certificate of Intention with their company representatives behind them while their loved ones and community members cheered them on!
This event was a resounding success, with many participants and those in attendance expressing gratitude for inviting them to participate in the experience. Career Signing Day had a positive impact on the community. Local businesses and organizations could meet talented young people and educators they may not have otherwise connected with and Companies and Educators were provided a platform to share some of their most pressing workforce and education needs in front of local elected officials. Events like these highlight the importance of investing in the future workforce and supporting young people as they embark on their career journeys.
Career Signing Day events have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. These events set the stage to recognize high school students and celebrate their post-secondary education plans of entering the workforce. These events help students feel acknowledged and supported and serve as a valuable networking opportunity that connects industry leaders with education leaders, offering a platform to share their current challenges and needs, encouraging new and continued collaboration.
The success of the 2nd Annual Tri-Cities Career Signing Day demonstrates the power of community engagement and the positive impact that can result in collaborating and investing in our future workforce. It is my hope that our local employers, educators, and communities will continue to embrace this tradition of celebrating students pursuing their career path, the educators who train and build them, and the companies that hire them.
If you are interested to learn more about how to participate in Signing Day or make key connections with industry/education individuals, please contact me at Brooke.Myrland@tricityregionalchamber.com.