‘Career Signing Day’ sending high school graduates straight into the workforce

Students are heading straight into the workforce after high school.
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 6:17 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - On Wednesday, families and friends joined to celebrate nearly 40 high school graduates from Blount County Schools during Blount County Career Signing Day, many of who got their high school diplomas and trained for a career at the same time.

Graduates were able to achieve this through a program called Blount Partnership.

The program allows students to start careers as welders, electricians, nursing assistants and more, keeping jobs in the community.

According to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, more teens are deciding not to go to college, opting instead to immediately join the workforce, competing for higher wages.

Iylie Jones, a 2022 Heritage High School Graduate is already a Certified Nursing Assistant with a job at Blount Memorial Hospital.

Although these teens are heading straight into the workforce, the Blount Partnership program allows them to pursue college if they would like to.

“I plan to work at Blount Memorial and go to Pellissippi at the same time to get my associate’s and then continue with my bachelor’s degree,” said Jones.

The Blount Partnership said it believes although every student’s path may be different and sometimes non-traditional, there are opportunities for meaningful careers in the county.

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