EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Tuesday morning was signing day at Reitz High School but not for athletes.
This day was for students committing to the workforce post-graduation.
“It’s exciting, this is our step to the future. I’m excited to get out of high school and ready to go to work,” Kenton Kissel, a Reitz High School senior shared.
Kenton Kissel is one of 32 Reitz high schoolers who signed with their future employers Tuesday morning.
“I signed with the Plumbers Local 136. I’ve had an interest in this for a while now, and it’s what I wanted to do,” Kissel said.
Seventeen employers were a part of the partnership between Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation and the OptIN program, a resource for students that may not want to go to college after graduation.
“We were kind of missing a fraction of students that we said, ‘OK we were sending a lot of students to college to figure it out. So why don’t we educate our students about the opportunities within our community with our employers?’ Those students, if college is your thing and you want to go there, we are lasered focused to help you get there,” B.J. Watts, the Executive Director of OptIN said. “But we want you to know your options outside of that, and we don’t push students in either direction.”
Employers say the program is just as beneficial for them as it is for the students.
“We can really focus on students who are not interested in going to college right away but interested to get into the workforce, which is such a need that we have in our community as well. We have a great partnership and also for people who want to get into the workforce while they’re going to college. There’s great opportunity for those students and graduates also,” Katie Burnett, the Manager of Human Resources at Deaconess Hospital said.
Officials say 116 students throughout the EVSC were recognized for their participation in the OptIN program.