WILMINGTON — More than 60 current Laurel Oaks students have accepted job offers in their career field before graduating later this month, and on Tuesday a “Signing Day” was held for students to publicly sign on with their new area employers.
Parents took photos and representatives of businesses brought company-labeled caps to give to the new hires during the first annual Signing Day which Great Oaks organized this month at each of its four campuses. Career and technical education at Great Oaks’ campuses is available for high school students living in 36 southwest Ohio school districts, with 10 districts affiliated with Laurel Oaks in Wilmington.
Wilmington-based AMES (Airborne Maintenance & Engineering Services) signed up 12 of the Laurel Oaks students at the Tuesday celebration. Eleven of them are students in the Aviation Maintenance Technician program, while one — Lindsey Woods whose home school is McClain High School — has been in the Automotive Technology – Collision program.
She said she loves to paint and was attracted to the automotive program’s industrial painting aspect when she toured Laurel Oaks as a younger student.
“They were painting when I came in, and I was like, ‘I want to do that’,” Woods recalled Tuesday.
In fact, she already has been working at AMES during her senior year in school, and upon graduation will go full-time with the company painting aircraft.
“It’s absolutely rewarding working hard in lab [a career-oriented classroom], and then having your lab teacher go on a limb for you and help you get a job. It’s rewarding to go to Oaks,” she said.
Her Laurel Oaks instructor Brian Wells said Woods does really well. He noted how Oaks students will “walk out with certifications,” a real help in getting into a particular field the student is pursuing.
Judging by Tuesday’s pre-graduation signing event, the Laurel Oaks programs whose graduating students are most in demand by area businesses are heavy equipment operations and engineering (12 hires), aviation maintenance technician (11 hires), cosmetology (10 hires), computer service technician and networking (9 hires), welding (8 hires), automotive technology (5 hires), equine science (4 hires), health technology (4 hires), and industrial diesel mechanics (3 hires).
Of interest: This is the first class of Laurel Oaks graduating seniors in heavy equipment operations and engineering — the program that produced the most hires formalized on Tuesday.
The area employers taking part at the Laurel Oaks’ Signing Day are, in alphabetical order, The Academy Preschool, Adecco, Ahresty, AMES (Airborne Maintenance & Engineering Services), Baxla Tractor Sales Inc., Bear Mechanical LLC, Blevin’s Sod Farm, Cool J’s Salon, Connection, Continental Manor, Cowan Lake State Park, Cox Paving, Creative Children of Promise Academy, Croghan Auto Care, and Cross Trails Stables.
Also, Divine Image Salon, Dugan & Meyers, Great Clips, Holmestead Stables, Magic Touch Salon, Mason Company, Ohio Living Cape May, Ohio Valley Excavating, Rumpke, Pennant Moldings, Sabina Farmers Exchange, Salon Mane, Seitz Construction, Smartstyle Hair Salons by Regis, St. Catherine’s Manor, Standard Aero, Wolfe Architectural Installations, Stillwater Stables, Stonewall Farm, Sunesis Construction, UFP Blanchester LLC, UST Environmental Contractor Inc., Whitney Grain & Cattle, and 252 West Salon & Medspa.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.