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Senior Signing Day: From a graduation cap to a hard hat

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Insulators Local 19 Business Manager Brett Large joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and discussed his Local’s efforts to expand its apprenticeship program, including the implementation of Senior Signing Day. He also spoke about the Local’s first female competitor in the Insulator’s Master Apprenticeship Competition (MAC). 

Senior Signing Day takes a new form 

Traditionally, Senior Signing Day was an event for high school students who have accepted a scholarship offer from a college or university to play a particular sport.

Large saw this concept as a perfect opportunity to get high schoolers excited about their commitment to a registered apprenticeship program and to help spread awareness of the benefits of becoming an apprentice. 

He explained how the event was designed to show graduating high school students the positive alternative to college. By becoming a member of Local 19, they will begin a long-lasting, successful career in the trades without student debt.

In June, the Local held its first Senior Signing Day, and the turnout was even better than Large expected. Union members, contractors and parents were in attendance, which helped show the future apprentices the importance of their decision and how their new careers in the trades will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Female apprentice represents Local 19 at the MAC 

The winner of the Midwest States Conference Apprenticeship Competition, Aleana Tucholka, advanced to the Insulators Union Master Apprenticeship Competition, which took place in Houston last month.

Tucholka became the first female apprentice to represent both Local 19 and the Conference at the MAC.

Large said Tucholka has become the “face” for their Local and an inspiration to all women in the trades who are nervous about entering an industry associated with mostly male workers. Tucholka showed this was a false standard and proved women are just as capable of success in the mechanical insulation industry. 

Listen to the interview here.


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