COLONIE – The annual Capital Region BOCES National Signing Day was a success with 30 high school students signing letters of intent and a crowd of more than 180 business, family, labor and education supporters watching.
During a ceremony on Thursday at the Career & Technical Education Center – Albany Campus, dignitaries celebrated the students as well as the valuable role BOCES plays in preparing students to become contributing members of society and the workforce.
“BOCES is creating the necessary and magnificent talent needed for what many of us are calling the building and infrastructure generation,” said Crickett Thomas-O’Dell, Statewide Pre-Apprentice Program Coordinator and Director of Community Engagement, Workforce Development Institute.
“Without workforce development, we cannot have economic development,” she added.
The Capital Region BOCES event was affiliated with the SkillsUSA National Signing Day, which mirrors the NCAA’s National Signing Day for athletes who commit to play sports in college. It is designed to honor students who are entering a technical field and to celebrate the dignity of work.
“Pursuing your career now is as important as going to a four-year college or playing a sport,” Capital Region BOCES Senior Executive Officer Joseph P. Dragone, Ph.D. told the students.
Among those speaking at the event were Assemblymember Mary Beth Walsh; Chris Pinheiro, Director of Apprenticeship, New York State Department of Labor; Katie Newcombe, Chief Economic Development Officer, the Center for Economic Growth; and Todd G. Helfrich, President and CEO, Eastern Contractors Association.
“Students and leaders are here today, and they are already making a difference,” Newcombe said. “Whenever we are talking to a company about locating here or growing here, Capital Region BOCES is part of my selling point.”
Among the students signing a letter of intent was Jackson Stone of Guilderland, who is taking the skills he learned in the Capital Region BOCES Manufacturing & Machining Technology program to work for Package One, Inc.
“Attending this program has taught me all of the skills I need to start, as well as integrity and work ethic. This is amazing,” said Stone.
Pinheiro and Walsh praised the work the students have undertaken already.
Students signing letters, their Capital Region BOCES program, home school district and employer are as follows:
Francis Broadhurst, Jr., Building Trades, UA Local 7 Plumbers and Steamfitters, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk
Aidan Conti, Building Trades, North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, Guilderland
Corey Franklin, Criminal Justice, Union College, Guilderland
Cameron Harless, HVAC/R, Crisafulli Bros. Plumbing & Heating Contractors, Inc., Berne-Knox-Westerlo
Tyler Harnett, Construction/Heavy Equipment, The Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 157, Berne-Knox-Westerlo
Nate Lupi, Constru-ction/Heavy Equipment, The Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 157, Berne-Knox-Westerlo
Luke Napierski, Construction/Heavy Equipment, New York State Department of Transportation, Voorheesville
Dylan Poirier, Diesel Tech, United Road Services, Bethlehem
Jake Porter, Building Trades, AOW Associates, Inc./North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk
Dan Ralston, Building Trades, AMC Contracting/North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, Guilderland
Jackson Stone, Manufacturing & Machining Technology, Package One, Inc., Guilderland.