Technically Minded Students Have Their Own 'Signing Day'

Bernie Tafoya
February 20, 2020 - 6:20 pm

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- More than two dozen high school seniors who are not going on to two- or four-year colleges got a taste Thursday of how some scholarship athletes get treated.

At Lincoln Tech in Melrose Park, these students signed letters of intent to attend the trade school.

“Usually athletes are the ones that are celebrated. And, what I love about how some of the things are changing now is that trades and other professions are being celebrated,” Director of Admissions Tash Uray said.

Four-year colleges are not for everyone, campus president Karen Clark said. At Lincoln Tech, students choose from automotive, collision repair, electronics/electrical, medical assistant and welding programs.

“Technical schools are extremely important. There’s a big skills gap in this country,” Clark said.

Ulysses Rojas is a senior at Aspira Business and Finance High School and calls himself a car enthusiast.

“It’s pretty good that they’re doing this for us to introduce us to the school,” Rojas said.

The student’s mother, Dalia Arias, is proud of her son: “I just want to support his mission of his career and he enjoys doing this and he wants to learn everything about it.”

Marlo Johnson, a 2011 Lincoln Tech graduate who works as service manager for Johnson Control Fire Prevention for the Heartland-Rockford area.

He told the incoming students their time will be “an awesome journey.”

Programs run between 10 and 18 months. Clark said the school tries to help place graduates in jobs.