ADDISON, Ill. (WLS) -- It's Signing Day!
Signing Day is usually associated with college athletics, or maybe even college academic commitments, but Wednesday, across the country, more than 2,500 students made a commitment in writing to a career in the trades.
Fourteen DuPage-area high school seniors signed their commitment to work as tradesmen, part of a trades program from SkillsUSA to help students pursue a career in the trades.
"I'm proud of him. Yeah, I'm proud of him," said Jammie Slack, Sr., looking on at his son as he signed his name.
Slack, Sr., comes from a long line of tradesmen.
"My dad was a contractor, I'm a contractor, and my other seven brothers are contractors," he said.
And his son, Jammie Jr., wants to dive right in.
"Waste no type of time," he said.
He's going to join his family, maybe even branch out.
"The goal is to definitely have my own company, but in due time. In due time," Jammie Jr. said.
"The trades are dying. Not many young people are in it," Slack, Sr., said. "I have to call our old-timers like in my dad's age to get things done. It's hard to find young people, so I'm very excited for young people that do decide to take the trades up."
With this new crop of contractors studying HVAC, electrical installation, carpentry and more, the sky's the limit.
Local companies are, "calling weekly to get apprenticeships and students in-house to get the manpower because the trade is so in demand right now," said Technology Center of DuPage College and Career Advisor Lauren Arambruru.
So why a signing day for the trades?
"It's just great work, it pays well, and it comes with a lot of benefits," said carpentry student Collin Lawson