FLINT — A dozen high school seniors signed “letters of intent” Wednesday, surrounded by family and teachers.
However, they weren’t declaring their desire to play college sports, for which such letters are usually used. Rather, they signed on to begin working at area businesses after they graduate.
The 12 will earn diplomas from their home schools later this month. As part of their education, they attended Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES, where they learned job skills in a variety of technical fields.
“(The students) worked hard and showed great dedication and goal-setting skills to be offered jobs right after graduation,” said Vicma Ramos, district superintendent of BOCES’ regional support center, before asking students, parents, business representatives and staffers to stand for a round of applause. “Thank you for believing in us. I’m confident we will be giving you the best employees you’ve ever had.”
The students and their destinations:
• Nick Sydow of Bloomfield and Blake Reed of Canandaigua, G.W. Lisk Co. of Clifton Springs.
• Brandon Scales and Summer Smith of Marcus Whitman, Finger Lakes Health at the Homestead at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital in Penn Yan.
• Wyatt Harrington of Midlakes, JMA Electric of Clifton Springs.
• Garratt Karge of Midlakes and Nick Myers of Mynderse Academy, Mini Tec Framing Systems LLC of Farmington.
• Dominic Ferlito of Penn Yan, Dailey Electric of Penn Yan.
• Andre Wilson of Canandaigua, F.F. Thompson Health in Canandaigua.
• Mikala Goodemote of Marcus Whitman, Smart Style/Regis Corp. as a cosmetologist.
• Katlyn Sciallo of Penn Yan, Penn Yan Aero.
• Richard Bruno of Waterloo, Sloth Electric of Stanley.
The businesses gave their incoming employees a small gift associated with their new jobs. For Sciallo, it was a pair of work coveralls.
BOCES Principal Matt Barr read about the students’ accomplishments and gave a brief history of the companies.
“I like to work with my hands. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty,” Sciallo said, acknowledging that being an aircraft engine worker is rather non-traditional for a female. “I think aeronautics is interesting, so I gave it a try and liked it. My parents pushed me, and so did I and my teachers.”
Sciallo said she’ll likely perform welding and machining work, as well as some computer design.
“I think it would be cool to fly someday,” she said.
Harrington said his career with JMA Electric already has started. He work for the company last summer, and again on Saturdays during the current school year in a work-study program. Soon, he’ll be a full-time employee earning a living as an electrician. He plans to continue his education by attending Finger Lakes Community College in Victor to study automation and mechatronics.
“My dad and other family members have technical skills, but none were electricians,” he said. “I decided to try the electrical field for that reason. I loved it.
“I can’t wait to start earning a living doing something I love.”
His new boss, Justin Altman, said his wife and Wyatt’s mother are friends.
“Wyatt’s mom sent us a photo of a panel box Wyatt had wired, and I was impressed,” Altman said. “I hired him last summer, and he’s showing enthusiasm and eagerness to learn. He knows the trade, and I feel he’ll be a great employee.”
David Phillips is training manager for G.W. Lisk. The company has a long history of hiring BOCES graduates — Phillips himself is a 1978 BOCES alumnus.
“We offer job-shadowing opportunities to BOCES grads in the mechanical field. It’s a very strong program,” Phillips said. “The teachers do a great job of teaching skills and good work habits so when we hire them, they’re ready to go in their new career.”
Just as a future college athlete might wear his or her new school’s cap at a signing ceremony, Harrington proudly donned a JMA Electric lid.