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LVEDC Releases Videos Highlighting SkillsUSA District 11 Signing Day

By Colin McEvoy on June 6, 2022

A new video commissioned by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) highlights a recent event that honored students from regional career and technical schools preparing to enter the workforce, military, or post-secondary institutes related to their trades.

The SkillsUSA Council hosted its third annual District 11 Signing Day event at DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township on May 13, where nearly 150 students donned red suits and ties, and signed papers to signify the next steps in their careers or life paths.

LVEDC was a sponsor for the Signing Day, and the organization commissioned the Allentown-based Structure Advertising & Creative Agency to create a two-minute video spotlighting the event, which was modeled after similar events often held for student athletes.

“There has been a huge boost in our economy, terrific opportunity in the Lehigh Valley, and we need these students and the commitment of educators and parents, to get people prepared for the careers of tomorrow in the Lehigh Valley,” Sherri Palopoli, Human Resources Director at B. Braun Medical, Inc., and a board members with SkillsUSA, said in the video.

The two-minute video can be viewed below or on the LVEDC YouTube channel. A 15-second version designed for social media is also available, and LVEDC encourages anyone who wishes to share or embed these videos to do so.

Schools that participated in District 11 Signing Day included the Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School, Career Institute of Technology, Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, Monroe Career & Technical Institution, and Upper Bucks County Technical School.

Fifty-seven of the students participating in the Signing Day event are proceeding to post-secondary education, including two-year, four-year, and technical schools. Seven students are entering the U.S. military, while another 36 students are going straight into the workforce.

Kiera Barnhart, who studied machining technologies at Upper Bucks County Technical School, is going immediately to work at B. Braun Medical, Inc., where she will work as an apprentice for the next four years. Barnhart described the event and her future plans in the video.

“There are so many opportunities in the Lehigh Valley between the schools and the Valley itself,” Barnhart said. “It definitely prepares you for the future, your future, and the workforce.”

Promoting and coordinating a skilled and prepared workforce is one of the priorities of LVEDC, which included “Talent Strategies Development” as a key initiative in the organization’s recently-approved three-year strategic plan.

Palopoli said the schools from the greater Lehigh Valley area provide its students not only with the technical skills needed for their future careers, but also with leadership, team-building, decision-making, and problem-solving skills crucial for preparing them for any job.

“Today’s Signing Day was a terrific event,” Palopoli said in the video. “It allows us to showcase our career and technical talent; it gives an opportunity for industry, military, and our higher education; and also it really shows what high school students can do in preparing for employment.”

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. A nonprofit national education association, SkillsUSA serves middle-school, high-school and college/postsecondary students preparing for careers in trade, technical, and skilled service occupations.

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