First ever "Going Pro Signing Day" highlights importance of graduates in the field of advanced manufacturing

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FRANKLIN, Ky. (WBKO) -- The first ever Going Pro Signing Day took place at SKYCTC on Friday morning. Graduates putting pen to paper in an event that celebrated some of the students going into the industrial/manufacturing field.

"I made it and I feel so happy," said Diana Wilson, SKYCTC graduate.

The event showed 19 graduates signed a "letter of intent" to the employer of their choice in the advanced manufacturing field.

The purpose of this going on at 16 Kentucky community technical colleges, highlights the importance of graduates in the field of Advanced Manufacturing.

"I graduated with zero debt and I got a job before I graduated," said Brian Hymer, graduate of SKYFAME program.

The various and diverse collection of programs through SKYCTC aren't like any other, and Friday was a day that was not only exciting for the graduates, but the employers as well.

"It's the kinda thing that the student goes to school two days a week, come to work for us three days a week, so when they finish the program we have a qualified associate and we're thrilled," said Shay Smith, Human Resource Manager at Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems.

The technical college truly accommodates just about anyone under any circumstances.

"I come to this country 14 years ago and I didn't speak English," said Wilson.

Diana Wilson is a mother of one with another on the way and she noticed all that SKYCTC had to offer.

"As a mother, I want to provide better for my family," she added.

"We have to make sure that we design our courses and delivery mode in such a way that you can juggle work and family and all of the other activities that go along with that with the school that's required," said Dr. James B. McCaslin, Vice President of Outreach & Community Development, SKYCTC.

Wilson has officially graduated with a job secured at WorldWide Technologies where she worked throughout completing the program.

"This made my dreams real," Wilson added.

Manufacturing is a significant part of Kentucky’s economy with 250,000 jobs with 4,500 manufacturing facilities. Therefore, holding an event that imitates that of a professional or collegiate athlete, actually isn't much of an imitation at all. After all, these are the quarterbacks of the advanced manufacturing industry.

"It's a great day for education, but most importantly it's a great day for the fact that most of these students have graduated debt free, and they're going to stay right here in South Central Kentucky," said Dr. McCaslin.

While only 19 were there Friday, SKYCTC actually had around 200 students gain credentials in the industrial field.