Featured in The Arounds Woodstock – July Issue 

Signed. Sealed. Committed – Go Pro!

Traditionally, national signing days recognize top athletes for signing letters of intent at their college of choice. Now, a relatively new signing day has emerged to honor students who are pursuing high-demand, high-wage careers – Skilled Professions Signing Day.

That is why the Cherokee Office of Economic Development partnered with Be Pro Be Proud Georgia, the Cherokee County School District, and Chattahoochee Technical College, to host the Inaugural Skilled Professions Signing Day at The Circuit Woodstock on May 10, 2021. 19 students were honored for their commitment to “GO PRO” in a variety of fields, including Automotive, Welding, Computer Programming, Electrical, Healthcare, and Construction.

This inspiring event is more than a pep rally for students signing on the dotted line and donning gear from local companies or technical colleges– it is about pride. The “trades” have often received a bad rap. These careers, though essential, were often seen as what students do if they do not attend a four-year college. But that is changing.

Initiatives such as Be Pro Be Proud Georgia and Skilled Professions Signing Days shine a light on high-growth industry sectors and lifelong, fulfilling careers. Launched in July 2020, Be Pro Be Proud helps change the perception of the skilled professions by linking career opportunities, training, and where to find jobs through an interactive website and hands-on mobile workshop.

The Skilled Professions are some of the region’s most in-demand careers, offering competitive salaries and rewarding work.

The proof is in the numbers. In the metro Atlanta area, Plumbers have the flexibility to work just about anywhere with earning potential of over $71K per year. Computer Programmers can earn more than $137K; Electricians can earn over $72K; and Automation and Robotics Technicians can take home over $85K.

The best part? Almost all of Georgia’s most in-demand careers are covered by the HOPE Career Grant, which makes pursuing these jobs an affordable option that does not incur decades of debt.

The inaugural signing day is just the beginning. The narrative is changing on what it means to be a trade worker or skilled professional. Whether it is pouring asphalt to pave roads, installing electrical systems to ensure buildings and homes to run efficiently, or setting up HVAC systems to keep Georgians cool during the dog-days of summer, skilled workers build our world and keep us running smoothly – day in and day out.

There has never been a better time to honor students who are changing the world one light bulb, HTML code, or building truss at a time. These essential careers are life-changing, not only for the students themselves but for the companies and lives their skills impact.