GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College will celebrate students entering the college’s career programs – from health sciences to automotive and more – at its first ever Career Signing Day, Tuesday, April 23, in The Commons.
“We’re excited to recognize our incoming career program students and to celebrate with them as they continue their education,” said Delfina Dornes, director of Enrollment and Advising.
Similar to more widely known athletic signings, students who choose to participate in the event will be recognized as they sign symbolic letters of intent to continue their education at the college.
They will receive program specific T-shirts, and will have the opportunity to mingle with instructors, fellow students and area business leaders in their field.
Scholarship recipients in attendance will be announced as well.
Just less than half of the student population at Lewis and Clark is enrolled in the college’s nearly 40 career programs. These programs are designed to prepare students to enter the workforce after two years or less, and to fill workforce demands throughout the region.
“The college has several career programs with excellent faculty,” Dornes said. “Our students leave Lewis and Clark well prepared to enter the job market.”
L&C’s career-track programs feed into high-demand, well-paying fields that often have immediate job openings, such as process operations technology, truck driver training and welding.
“Students transferring to or enrolling in a four-year institution at times receive more recognition than students entering a career program, and the career students should also be acknowledged,” said Vice President of Enrollment Kent Scheffel. “The signing day event will give students and their families the opportunity to be recognized for their high school accomplishments and their postsecondary goals. There is a large demand for skilled workers, and students entering these programs will have many opportunities in the future.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, fields like healthcare are expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs through 2026.
A recent report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce concludes that an associate degree or certificate pathway beyond high school provides good jobs to more than 16 million workers in the United States. “Good jobs,” in this sense, are those paying more than $35,000, or an average of $56,000 annually, to workers with less than a bachelor’s degree.
The path for those entering the workforce with only a high school degree, in comparison, is becoming more uncertain, while opportunities for workers with middle skills continues to grow.
“The middle-skills pathway, which includes skilled-services and blue-collar employment, now accounts for about a quarter (24 percent) of good jobs,” the report states. “Nearly half of middle-skills jobs are good jobs. The middle-skills pathway is in the midst of major transformation from traditional blue-collar jobs to more skilled technical jobs across skilled-services and blue-collar industries. It includes those in traditional middle-skills jobs, such as firefighters, law enforcement officers, electricians, mechanics, installers, repairers, technicians of industrial equipment, and highway maintenance workers; it also includes those in skilled and technical jobs, such as healthcare technologists and technicians, computer control programmers and operators, surveying and mapping technicians, and information and record clerks.”
One of the report’s key findings was that skilled-services industries account for 77 percent of good job growth for workers with middle skills.
A 2016 third party study conducted by Emsi, an economic modeling company, shows a high rate of return for students attending Lewis and Clark – 19.7 percent annually, which amounts to a cumulative $5.70 in higher future earnings for every $1 invested in an L&C education.
For students entering Lewis and Clark this fall, learn more about the event or RSVP to participate at www.lc.edu/signingday. For more information, contact Director of Advising and Enrollment Delfina Dornes at firstname.lastname@example.org or (618) 468-5200.