Holliday set to join International Union of Operating Engineers 158 as Commercial Construction/Heavy Equipment operator after graduation
James Holliday is a senior at Duanesburg Central School District who is counting down the days until his June 24 graduation, just like the rest of his classmates. The difference with James, is that he already has a job with the International Union of Operating Engineers 158 waiting for him as soon as he receives his diploma.
Holliday was one of 16 high school students that participated in the first annual Capital Region BOCES National Signing Day last week. Students signed letters of intent with employers, as their family members cheered them on.
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon was in attendance at the ceremony. “Everyone here deserves a round of applause for creating a pipeline of skilled workers to keep our economic momentum going. These students you see here today are the keepers of the economy,” she said.
The Capital Region BOCES National Signing Day was affiliated with the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) National Letter of Intent Signing Day, mirroring the NCAA’s National Signing Day for athletes who commit to play sports in college. It is designed to honor students who are entering a technical field and to celebrate the dignity of work.
Holliday signed his letter of intent with International Union of Operating Engineers 158 (IUOE) where he will pursue a career in Commercial Construction/Heavy Equipment. He has participated in BOCES CTE program for the past two years, which involves spending half days at the Career and Technical Center in Schoharie and the other half of the school day at Duanesburg High School.
“I’ve known this is what I wanted to do as early as kindergarten,” Holliday said. It wasn’t until eighth or ninth grade that he realized he could actually accomplish his dreams while he was still in high school, as he saw his older cousin participate in the CTE program while at Duanesburg.
Holliday has dreams of becoming a crane operator, just like his father — a goal that will take some time for him to secure the required number of hours of training.
“CTE provided a great experience for me because it expanded my social circle outside of Duanesburg,” Holliday said. “The teachers are really nice and the program is good at lining you up with employers and job fairs.”
“Our mission as a district is to prepare students to fulfill their dreams and aspirations,” Duanesburg Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Niedermeier said. “Supporting students who want to work in the trades is every bit as important as supporting students who are college or military bound. We’re proud of James and his accomplishments.”
To those coming up behind him, Holliday’s advice is, “Don’t be afraid to study the trades. There is plenty of work and plenty of money to be made by working in a trade industry.”