Every year, in high schools across the country, student athletes participate in Signing Days to commit to sports at colleges and universities.

For many students, though, the next step beyond high school is a career.  Until now, that step hasn’t always received the attention it deserves.  This year Great Oaks Career Campuses and other area career-technical schools are honoring graduating students with Signing Days as they commit to employers and prepare to begin the career for which they’re certified.

The first Great Oaks Signing Day was May 3 at the Live Oaks Career Campus in Milford.  Hundreds of parents, employers, and students gathered as 51 seniors committed to area employers.  From healthcare to automotive technology to veterinary assisting and more, students from twelve career programs stepped on stage to begin their journey.

For employers, too, this was an important event.  Doug Hyrne, owner of Time Savers Heating and Cooling, hired a student in the Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning program—the same program Hyrne graduated from at Scarlet Oaks in 1992.  He spoke after the ceremony about his own journey.  “Great Oaks was a turning point for me,” he said.  “I always advise students to learn a skill, no matter what they think they’ll be doing in the future.”

Signing Days will be held on May 9 at the Scarlet Oaks campus, May 10 at Diamond Oaks, and May 14 at Laurel Oaks.

About 200 students are expected to participate in the ceremonies.  In a typical year, about 92% of Great Oaks graduates go directly to a career, college, or the military.