FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — When Orlando Nino first took a construction course at the Anthis Career Center, he knew it was the path for him.
"I like physical work, and it’s something that I’ve grown up doing ever since I was a little kid," Nino said.
Now, he’s among close to 50 Fort Wayne students putting pen to paper on their future careers right out of high school.
"I haven’t been very good at going to school, being on time, doing my assignments. I like going straight into work," Nino said. "And that’s something that kind of motivates me to keep on going throughout the day, and it’s what I love doing."
While signing ceremonies are typically reserved for college athletes, Fort Wayne Community Schools wanted to recognize its Career Academy students who will soon take their talents right back into the community.
"They’re choosing their career too, just like athletes," said Career Academy Principal Jesse Webb. "I used to be an athletic director, so I know what that’s all about. So it’s really trying to recognize those students as well because they don’t always get that recognition."
Webb is proud to see his students start careers in local trades, health and safety programs or the military.
He says it's important to develop local talent and show students that not everyone needs to spend thousands of dollars on a college education.
"So all of our instructors here are really pushing to keep our talent here, home-grow them. And that’s what we do," Webb said. "When we connect with business partners, we talk about what can we do to keep the talent here in Northeast Indiana, in Allen County, in Fort Wayne."
Webb says companies regularly contact the Career Academy to ask about filling job openings.
He says there’s an ongoing need for trade workers throughout Allen County.
Students signed with a total of 38 local businesses and military units this morning alongside friends, family and their employers.