Willowbrook hosts SkillsUSA National Signing Day

Click on the images below to view photo captions.

On May 5, Willowbrook participated in the SkillsUSA National Signing Day.

That event celebrates high school seniors and college/postsecondary students who have chosen to pursue a career as a professional in any of the skilled trades. The goal is to help close the skills gap and raise awareness of options available in the skilled trades. For more information, go to https://www.skillsusa.org/events-training/national-signing-day/.

Eight Willowbrook seniors were recognized as they signed letters of intent, in a style similar to National Signing Day events for student-athletes. They were celebrated among school administrators, teachers, SkillsUSA advisers, family members and friends. To watch the ceremony, click on the video above. To view pictures from the event, see the photo gallery below.

Below are the students who were recognized, along with their postsecondary plans.

  • Scott Fitzgerald: DuPage Tire & Auto Center Inc.; Formula 1 Racing (Automotive)

  • Andrew Hasler: U.S. Marines (Aircraft mechanic)

  • Seth Peterson-Capo: SMART Local 265 (HVAC technician)

  • Ayden Srabonian: IAMAW Mechanics’ Local 701 (Automotive)

  • Vincenzo Tito: Caterpillar (Heavy machinery)

  • Giovanni Vicari: Caterpillar (Heavy machinery)

  • Kevin Cabral: Multitech Duall Precision Inc., through the College of DuPage Project Hire-Ed Apprenticeship Program (CNC Machining)

  • Parker Noesen: SWD Inc., through the College of DuPage Project Hire-Ed Apprenticeship Program; continuing at College of DuPage (Horticulture)

About the Project Hire-Ed Apprenticeship Program

Project Hire-Ed launched in 2018 with the intent to build a bridge between workforce needs and education to help employers find the right talent for their organizations and to teach students the skills employers are seeking.

Project Hire-Ed is a four-year program – two years to complete the coursework and two more years working with the employer. It is open to individuals 18 years old and older who are current College of DuPage (COD) students, career changers, veterans, unemployed, under-employed, recent high school or GED graduates or current high school students. There’s even an opportunity for high school students to earn dual-credit through the program. High-schoolers can take the seminar class, as well as two technical courses, to get started before they graduate (but they must meet reading, writing and math requirements).

Apprenticeship programs provide hands-on training to an employee while gaining necessary competency. They offer skills in a particular occupation, help connect to a career pathway and combine on-the-job training with appropriate instruction. It is commonly referred to as an “Earn and Learn” model. The program is currently part of the following industries: Manufacturing and applied technology, horticulture and information technology (the program connects students to career opportunities in those fields). The initial seminar course is $138. Students then interview with local employers. If a student receives an offer from an employer, they will be paid as they learn.

For more information, go to https://www.cod.edu/project-hire-ed.