Francisco Tomas is eager to get immersed into Wallace State’s Electronics Technology program once the Fall 2019 semester begins.

“I’ve had an interest in robotics for about the last three years and love building things from scratch and brainstorming with others to solve problems. I’m stoked to be here. I’ve met my future classmates and hope we challenge each other,” said Tomas, an Albertville High student.

Tomas was among 48 students recently in attendance during Wallace State’s 4th annual Career and Technical Letter of Intent Signing Day, hosted by the Applied Technologies Division to celebrate the college’s incoming students for the upcoming summer and fall semesters. The event was held in acknowledgment of National Career Technical Education (CTE) Month through the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3).

“This event grows every year and we may have to move locations if it keeps growing, which is a good thing. I’m always impressed with the parental support at this event. It’s a great day all-around,” said Jimmy Hodges, Wallace State’s Dean of Applied Technologies. “Wallace State is continually being recognized as a leader in workforce development through our skilled trade programs, and I’m excited to see where all of this momentum takes us.”

Wallace State’s Career and Technical Signing Day has attracted an increase in participation each year. The event is modeled after an athletics signing, and each student in attendance officially commits to their respective programs or majors as their future instructors look on.

Wallace State welcomed incoming students who committed to join the following Wallace State programs: agricultural production/horticulture, aviation/flight technology, automotive service technology, building construction, culinary arts, diesel technology, mechatronics/electronics technology, engineering technology, HVAC/refrigeration, machine tool technology, salon and spa management and welding.

“You are a part of something very important. Today is the beginning of tomorrow for you. I can tell you that when you graduate from the programs you are majoring in that you’ll never be without a job,” said Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics. “The skills and compentencies that you develop and master here will lead to a bright future. I commit to you that you will not be disappointed in the education you receive here.”

Barry May, the Executive Director of Workforce and Economic Development for the Alabama Community College System, attended the annual event in addition to industry representatives from Snap-On and Greenlee.

Each student in attendance had the opportunity to apply for a technical scholarship and receive guidance from Wallace State’s Career Services department. Students received a Wallace State hat upon signing and had the opportunity to tour their respective programs.

Over the past months, Wallace State’s Applied Technologies Division has announced an automotive service technology apprenticeship agreement with Mercedes-Benz and launched the college’s Electronics Technology program as an Alabama Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (F.A.M.E.) chapter. Wallace State also hosted a groundbreaking for a new state-of-the-art welding facility.

“Momentum is definitely on our side and we want to keep this ball rolling. We have one of the largest technical divisions in the state and we want to continue to grow and grow. We get phone calls on a weekly basis from employers, seeking our students and graduates to fill jobs,” Hodges said.

For more information about Wallace State, visit wallacestate.edu.

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