Early Monday May 1, 2023 Aaron Ennis, Workforce Development chair along with Jax Lawson of Brazosport High School and Ashley Shugart of Columbia High School spoke live with Fox & Friends host Steve Doucey about ‘Signing Day.’ This was the first, live, nationwide television interview about Signing Day in its 5 year history.
While the interview was just over 4 minutes long, it took many hours over several days for Aaron, Jax and Ashley to prepare. Fitting specific ideas and messages into a tight timeframe is challenging for anyone. All three arrived before dark that Monday morning knowing what their messages were, how to deliver them while considering what the host and people watching wanted to know more about. It was great and all three were terrific.
CLUTE — Third BCPC Signing Day only the beginning. Josiah Hogan and his family were excited for him to sign with the Wood Group.
“Just the opportunities that he’ll have,” mom Trina Hogan said.
They know he’ll do great, dad Ron said.
Josiah Hogan was one of eight graduating seniors to sign with the consulting and engineering company at its Clute office during the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council’s third annual Signing Day on May 10.
“This year we were able to have a record of 38 students that applied for the signing day through our county, and we were fortunate enough that we were able to find 19 of them jobs,” said Aaron Ennis, co-chair of the council’s workforce development committee and chairman of the signing day outreach. “The other 19 — they’re still on our list when companies call.”
Unable to have the traditional large gathering because of COVID-19, this year’s Signing Day took place at several companies throughout the day and culminated in a virtual Zoom program in the evening incorporating a handful of speakers, including company representatives and Kelley Cope from Associated Builders and Contractors.
Eight students were awarded $1,000 scholarships from Associated Builders and Contractors to attend Brazosport College and continue craft training, Cope said.
Each of the 38 students who applied for Signing Day were guaranteed two interviews, and every student did an excellent job, Turner Industries Workforce Development Manager Carla Thompson said.
“There wasn’t a student I talked to over the last couple of weeks that didn’t impress me, and what I want you to know is, we wish we could hire all of you,” she said.
Turner urged them to continue learning and to continue checking in for new job opportunities.
“A lot of us have jobs that are gonna come up this summer,” she said. “Call all the companies that are part of this Signing Day, keep track of who they are, call their hiring offices a couple times a week and harass the daylights out of them.”
State Rep. Cody Vasut, R-Angleton, was scheduled to address attendees as well, but the House was still in session and he was unable to participate.
Participating organizations included BASF, Contech Services, Dow, KCG Industrial, Norrell, Olin, Phillips 66, Top Coat, Turner Industries, Wood and Zachry, said Jessie Jennings, director of career and technical education for Brazosport ISD.
“At least one or more students from each school was able to sign on with these organizations,” Jennings said. “I love the way it shook out to where each school is represented tonight.”
Each student who signed on with a company May 10 will start work as early as the summer. They’ll make good money, have good benefits and build connections — and ultimately have a future in local industry, Ennis said.
The future is bright for CTE and for industry in Brazoria County, too.
“Next year will also be a record year,” he said. “I can go on record and say that now, with the pace we’re moving, this event will only continue to grow up and down the Gulf Coast.”
Before closing the presentation, Ennis congratulated the signees and encouraged them to have the courage to be a beginner.
“Everyone on this call at one point or another, I can guarantee you, has been a beginner,” he said. “Sooner or later you won’t be a beginner, and you’ll be passing around your knowledge to other people. … If you continue to have courage and embrace being a beginner, it isn’t the end. Third BCPC Signing Day only the beginning. It’s only the beginning.”
Corinna Richardson is the content editor for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0150.