Carpentry students Lindsey Hill and Reece Brigner sign to work with Weigand Construction upon graduation. Representing Weigand is Jade Painter, Director of Field Operations. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Carpentry students Lindsey Hill and Reece Brigner sign to work with Weigand Construction upon graduation. Representing Weigand is Jade Painter, Director of Field Operations. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – Twenty-two Vantage Career Center seniors and 16 businesses joined together for the first-ever Career Advancement Program Signing Day at Vantage on Friday. The students signed to work with an employer using the skills they learned at Vantage upon graduation.

“Today we recognize 22 soon-to-be Vantage alumni who have worked diligently in their time here and will soon begin rewarding careers in the fields they chose to study here at Vantage roughly two years ago,” said Tony Unverferth, High School Director.

Among those students was Kory Kline, who signed with Wallace Plumbing, and Lindsey Hill, who signed with Weigand Construction. Kline is involved in the industrial mechanics program while Hill is involved in the carpentry program. Both students are originally from Van Wert High School.

Kline said he originally decided to attend Vantage because he wasn’t interested in college, and Vantage provided him with the option where he could learn a valuable skill while in high school.

“I didn’t want to go to college; I wanted to go right to the workforce,” said Kline. “By going to Vantage, you don’t have the college debt.”

“There are so many opportunities here at Vantage,” added Kline.

In addition to graduating with credentials in industrial mechanics, Kline is enrolled in the firefighter program, and he will be one of the first high school students to obtain a firefighter credential.

“It’s a family thing,” said Kline of joining the firefighter program. “My mom is a firefighter and an EMT, and my dad is a firefighter and an EMT. I grew up around firefighters; it’s natural to me.”

Hill will be attending college at Bowling Green to advance her construction skills. She is grateful for the knowledge she has already gained at Vantage.

“I knew I wanted to do something in construction,” said Hill. “Construction management really seemed to fit me. The carpentry program really taught me a lot to help me get the edge.”

“Vantage helped us learn a lot about what we wanted to do and most of our classes are based around that,” added Hill. “We got a lot of certifications through our labs.”

Hill noted that being part of the signing day and leaving high school knowing she will have a job makes her feel more prepared for the future.

“This is similar to how our home schools have signings for sports,” she said. “We now get to do that too but we are signing into jobs rather than colleges.”

In addition to Kline and Hill, the following students also were recognized at the signing day: Taylor Varner to Alexander & Bebout, Aden Stripe to C.S. Custom Kitchen, Bath, & More, John Felver to Crown, Justice Wycuff to Crown, Natalie Torman to Fremont Company, Cora Rode to Great Clips Van Wert, Connor Hoersten to Grob, Sherry Breisinger to Grob, Brayden McClure to Miller Bros. Construction, Jacob McClure to Miller Bros. Construction, Dante Sampson to Miller Bros. Construction, Logan Schulte to Miller Precision, Ashlynn Rice to Paulding County Court (Probation Division), Ezra Friesner to Statewide Ford, Dakota Rosselit to Ted Verhoff Builders, Jaden Schnipke to Tuttle Construction, Madeline Jenkins to Vancrest, Leslie Marbaugh to Vancrest, Calob Thomas to VanTilburg Farms, and Reece Bringer to Weigand Construction.

Lu Cooke from Lt. Governor John Husted’s office was also in attendance and presented each student with a letter from Husted congratulating them on their achievements.