NORFOLK — 12 of Northeast Community College’s most coveted recruits are officially Hawks following a signing day event Friday morning.
But the students signing their letters of intent aren’t athletes, they’re members of the College’s Fridays at Northeast program. NECC Executive Vice President John Blaylock says the college wants to recognize the students’ investment in a career with the signing ceremony that is typically reserved for athletes.
“What we want to do is make sure they feel welcome, make sure they understand that they are truly going to be able to make a difference in their own lives with some additional training,” Blaylock said.
The Fridays program finished its first year with 48 students completing classes in a variety of programs. The students take one day a week away from their high school schedule to come to Northeast and start training for a technical career.
Nebraska Director of Economic Development Courtney Dentlinger spoke at the ceremony and praised the program because Nebraska has a need for workers in the skilled trades.
“So I think it’s great that we’re celebrating them,” Dentlinger said. “We should be celebrating our student-athletes, but I’m as excited about the next student powering our states economy as I am about the next power forward.”
Wyatt Hennig from Bancroft-Rosalie High School and signed his letter of intent to join the Automotive Service Technology program. He enjoyed the ceremony.
“I kind of felt professional, to tell the truth,” Hennig said. “I’ve seen friends’ signing, it’s pretty cool. So, given the fact I can do that for something besides athletics was pretty interesting.”
The Signing Day event was the first of its kind in Nebraska but other community colleges in the country have experimented with it before.