MCCTC signing day celebrates jobs - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

MCCTC signing day celebrates jobs

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CANFIELD, Ohio -

Signing day's become one of those rites of passage for high school athletes, revealing which college they'll suit up for in the future. MCCTC is putting a different spin on the idea this year, celebrating students who are heading right into a career.

The set-up's the same as you see at most schools: the backdrop covered in logos, with smiling faces all around the table. But signing day's a little different at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center.

The hat on the table in front of Noah Mitchell isn't for some college football program, it's for City Machine Technologies in Youngstown.

"I graduate on the 31st and I'll start full-time the Monday after that," said Mitchell, a senior at MCCTC.

This year, MCCTC is highlighting students taking that next step, not in sports but in their career.

"Noah will be a full-time machinist here right after he graduates, CNC manual machining," said Chip Kovach, the VP of engineering at CMT. "Sky's the limit from there."

"I saw it as a place where I could really grow in what I do and learn a lot more, because I always like to continue learning at what I'm doing," said Mitchell.

The same goes for students in the auto tech program, who are off to places like Sweeney; companies that have been hiring students from these programs for years.

With the signings, those students and those jobs get to take a little more of the spotlight.

"I think we need to start a better conversation about college not being for every person," said Alexa Sweeney Blackann, the vice president of Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC.

"The important part is that the students understand there are options, but it's also important for them to understand the jobs that we have available here in the Mahoning Valley," said Marcy Angelo, the manager of business development for the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber.

The parallels go well beyond just the signing day ceremonies. In many cases, employers are actively recruiting these students for positions much like colleges are recruiting athletes.

"Employers are lining up to get to these kids," said MCCTC superintendent John Zehentbauer. "They're well trained. They're bright. They're articulate and they have all the skills to go out and go to work."

"It's great to see that there's still young kids out there who say 'Hey, I'm going to go get a skilled trade as opposed to going to college.' Still can make a great career out of that," said Kovach.

So this signing day is every bit as important as any other.

"I think it shows that you don't have to pick a college to be successful," said Mitchell.

An idea worth celebrating at MCCTC.

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