On Oct. 14, 2020, ISD staff held a Career Tech to Careers signing event with Andrew Moyer, a 2019 graduate of Pellston High School. Moyer has started a career with Harbor Springs Excavating as a laborer. He was able to secure the position, which is full-time and will include traditional benefits after a year of successful employment, in part due to his enrollment in Career and Technical Education classes during high school, including construction and welding. At the excavating business, Moyer assists with shoveling for excavation projects, grading asphalt and operating heavy equipment. His teacher at Pellston was Roger Armantrout, who was present for the signing event.

“The students who come out of the Career Tech programs have been taught great math skills, which are more important than people may realize in this line of work,” said Tom Gallagher, owner of Harbor Springs Excavating. “They need to be able to read a tape measure and blueprints, and utilize math skills every day. The CTE programs have been great for our community and hopefully will continue to produce skilled laborers, which are in high-demand here and everywhere.”

Instructor Armantrout said he consistently hears from regional employers the importance of educating students like Moyer in not only hands-on skills, but also the importance of being on time and ready to work. For young adults like Moyer, those skills can lead to family-supporting wages and stable employment. “Every employer I talk to says, ‘I will teach them the skills they need to know if they have a good attitude, show up on time and work hard.” Armantrout said. “Andrew was a good student who was always pushing himself and has a good work ethic.”

Moyer said he is enjoying the benefits of working hard and earning overtime, many times putting in up to 10 hours a day, six days a week. “It’s been a great work environment. My coworkers are awesome, and Mr. Armantrout really prepared me with a good work ethic,” he said.

Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates specialist Mike Vandermus was also on hand for the signing event. He worked with Moyer to help identify possible places of employment based on his skills, and was proud to see him succeeding at Harbor Springs Excavating. JMG is a partner with Char-Em ISD’s CTE department in helping students with career and college readiness.

“The trades everywhere need skilled workers. If you like working with your hands, you can make a good living – more than most jobs at the entry level. Another benefit is that these jobs often have a set schedule. You know you are going to work Monday-Friday,” said Vandermus. “JMG is always happy to see our students finding career success in Northern Michigan.”

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