Waco Building Construction Technology

(WACO, Texas) – Representatives of Texas State Technical College and the Ben Barber Innovation Academy in Mansfield honored two students on Wednesday during National Signing Day 2019 co-sponsored by SkillsUSA and Klein Tools.

Nick Crook, a senior at Legacy High School in Mansfield, and Juan Vela, a senior at Summit High School in Arlington, both take classes at the career and technical education academy and will attend TSTC in Waco this fall.

“Today was important to see kids pursue careers in trade skills and compete in the future at the postsecondary level at SkillsUSA at TSTC,” said Kendal Carrillo, TSTC’s executive director of national competition and a TSTC industry relations officer.

Crook and Vela signed SkillsUSA and Klein Tools certificates dedicating themselves to their continued education and signifying their commitment to the construction field.

“I wish you guys all the success as you move forward,” said Michael Klein, director of Klein Tools’ Klein Business Systems in Mansfield.

Crook will receive a $1,500 TSTC scholarship to study Building Construction Technology this fall. He was a member of the academy’s statewide third-place-winning SkillsUSA TeamWorks team in 2018.

“I am excited,” Crook said. “I can’t wait to get down to TSTC to work on my future.”

Vela will receive a $6,000 TSTC scholarship and study Welding Technology this fall. He placed first in welding at this year’s SkillsUSA state conference in Corpus Christi and will represent Texas at the 55th annual SkillsUSA Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference in June in Louisville, Kentucky.

“It’s cool and exciting,” Vela said. “I’m excited to learn everything TSTC has to teach me about welding.”

Crook and Vela’s signings were symbolic of the academy’s purpose.

“The trades industry is booming,” said Catherine Hudgins, the academy’s principal. “I get calls weekly from companies in Mansfield looking for employees. The students are taught 21st-century skills. Our goal at Ben Barber is to deliver the whole package.”

The academy, which is in the Mansfield Independent School District, was one of 12 high schools in Texas and among 300 high schools in the country participating in National Signing Day 2019.

This was the first time SkillsUSA and Klein Tools have sponsored National Signing Day.

The day’s focus was for high school seniors to “sign” their intent to pursue career and technical education and careers upon graduation. The format is similar to athletic scholarship signings that take place in high school sports.

For more information on SkillsUSA, go to skillsusa.org.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to www.tstc.edu.



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