Hannibal vo-tech program recognized for above average graduate employment

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If your child wants to go straight into the workforce right after graduation, vo-tech programs may be for them.

A local program is being recognized by Missouri education officials for putting students into jobs after high school more often than the state average, with just over 85% of students scoring jobs, almost 10% more than the state average.

Hannibal school officials said students from seven different northeast Missouri school districts attend classes at the Hannibal Career and Technical Center (HCTC), which offers classes for many different skills that could land students a job right out of high school.

“We learn the basics of mig, stick, flux, [and] core which allows the employer to improve on that if they want to,” said Hannibal High School Senior Alex Bufford.

Bufford said since starting welding classes at the HCTC, he’s learned a lot of practical skills employers in the tri-states are looking for, and it inspired him to look into careers in welding when he’s done with school.

“[I] tried it and just liked [welding] for some reason and now I want to stick with it,” said Bufford.

Educators at the HCTC said they aim for all students coming out of programs here to be able to get a job right out of high school

“If a student is willing to work they’ll have the skills to go into local manufacturing, get a job right out of High School making a good wage,” said

Welding Instructor Bobby Wilson said the welding program has already had graduates go straight into the workforce here in the tri-states.

“We have students placed in Doyle Manufacturing, Knapheide, Watlow, Manchester Tank […] just about every place here in our area has one or more of our students that are employed with them,” said Wilson.

Bufford said it’s why he’s looking at applying to employers in Hannibal when he graduates later this year, and he’s thankful for the opportunity.

“[The program] gives me an advantage over other people that might try to apply and gives me a higher chance of getting in,” said Bufford.

HCTC teachers said they offer a variety of other job training programs including building trades, agriculture programs, machine tooling, childcare and more.

Teachers said schools from other districts that also send their students to Hannibal Career and Technical Center include Mark Twain and Palmyra High School, and encourage students interested to talk with their advisers about the opportunity. Small classroom fees may be required.

Frank Healy

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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