KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (WFFT) - Tuesday was signing day for the students at the Impact Institute. Students committing to their future.
You won't likely see these students on the athletic fields though, that's because the Impact Institute focuses on workforce prep.
Jim Walmsley, the Director of the Impact Institute explained, "We focus on career training programming that offers students the opportunity to go directly from high school into the workforce, if that’s what they choose to do, or be better prepared for that next educational step, whatever that might be."
One of those students taking the next step was East Noble senior Ben Estridge. He was introduced to welding by his FFA instructor and recognized an opportunity.
"I noticed there was going to be a giant gap in people needed. So, I saw the money and opportunities that could be and all the education I could get," Estridge said.
Estridge will continue his path at Metal Technologies in Auburn. Most of the other signees Tuesday are going into other trades, including construction, automotive, cosmotology, or one of the 14 other programs Impact Institute offers.
Starting their adult life out being debt free.
Estridge said "Paying for college is really hard and I’ve seen everyone going into debt and I could see that I could go to a school like Hobart, which I am going to, I could find a company that would pay for my college instead of having that debt and working out of that debt."
Even though this is the first signing day for the Impact Institute, they’ve been setting students up for success for many years, something they recognize will be needed for the future.
"I think we’re swinging the pendulum in the right direction where we look at vocation opportunities and that connection between school and work as being equal to, at the very least, equal to the opportunity for students when they go on to a university degree," Walmsley said.