Signing day is usually associated with an athlete signing a letter of intent to continue their athletic career at a four-year university. The Machine Trades Program at New Castle Career Center recognizes that there are other opportunities awaiting students after graduation and want to celebrate with a different kind of signing day. Students at this signing day are entering the workforce and signing up with an employer who is eager to have them implement what they’ve learned at the Career Center.
“Signing day is important because it gives the students a sense of accomplishment,” explained Greg Dickerson, Machine Trades Program Instructor. “This day shows how we can connect young people who have a good work ethic and ability to learn with employment opportunities.”
Four students from the Machine Trades Program participated in career signing day: Christian Harding from Tri Jr. Sr. High School, Cole Garrity from Knightstown High School, Mason Maynard from Eastern Hancock High School, and Cole Manning from Eastern Hancock High School.
Christian Harding will graduate with 12 dual credits and continue pursue a degree in engineering at Ball State University. While attending Ball State, he has committed to working at Delaware Dynamics. Dickerson commented, “Christian took to work like a fish takes to water.”
From the moment Crown Equipment Corporation met Intern Cole Garrity, they knew they wanted him for good. “It was his willingness to learn that immediately caught my attention. Cole always had a great attitude and a smile on his face,” noted Dustin Baker of Crown Equipment. Shelley York, Human Resources Director at Crown, added, “A few months ago a tour came through and we gave Cole zero notice. He stepped up and recruited interns for the next semester. I admired him so much for that.”
Garrity will join Crown’s team after graduation. “I’ve loved watching my friends grow in the Machine Trades Program- just to see where we started and where we are now,” Cole said. “The opportunities are endless. I’m glad there was another option to college. It’s just not for everyone.” Garrity was also the recipient of the Butch Fairchild Academic Excellence Award.
Mason Maynard will be graduating with 41 dual credits and is considering attending Ivy Tech in the fall. Mason entered his job with Hoosier Feeder with rave reviews from his teacher. “Mason is the first Machine Trades student to receive a NIMS Certification. He was also the first student to use to the new HAAS CNC Mini Mill,” Greg Dickerson explained proudly. “I’ll miss Mason the most out of the seniors. His height saves us twice a year because he’s the only one who can reach the clock for daylight savings.”
“With all the training he already had and his personality- I knew he would fit right in,” Vice President Chris Schombert of Hoosier Feeder said. “We are a growing company and I’m very excited to see what we can learn from Mason and what Mason can learn from us. He has an incredible skillset and will be a great asset to the team.”
Cole Manning was the first student in the senior class to secure an internship. He knew he wanted to work somewhere that felt comfortable to him. It only made sense to connect with someone he has known for years, Brad Groce of Impact CNC. “I’ve known Cole for quite a while and knew he was a good kid. He was very willing to learn and honestly showed up more than my full-time employees. I can’t wait to have him around,” noted Groce.
Dickerson recalls a story of Manning’s dedication to attendance. “Over the winter we had quite a few snow days. I told the boys they weren’t expected to go to their internships since the roads were pretty terrible. Cole however told me that you never miss a day of work and that’s just how his dad raised him to be. And by golly, he never missed a day of work.”
Not only is signing day a way for the students to be recognized and celebrated by employers, but it is also an opportunity for them to congratulate each other. After spending two years in a machine shop together, bonds start to form amongst the students.
“I think signing day is a great event because we get to see the future of our classmates, who have turned into our friends,” Christian Harding explained. “Watching them sign that piece of paper and know they have so many open opportunities is great.”
Chris Lamb, Director of the New Castle Career Center, is proud of the work happening in the Machine Trades Program. “Signing day is great because it showcases that students are going out into a workforce into a career that they are trained for and that they truly want. They are stepping into a career, not a job.”
The Machine Trades Program teaches students to read blueprints, use CAD software, operate machines, and more. Learn more about the program here: https://nccareercenter.org/program/machine-trades/