Everyone loves a good field trip! According to the International Sign Association (ISA), “Some 2,630 students of all ages visited sign, graphics, and visual communications companies as part of Sign Manufacturing Day 2016. The event is sponsored annually by the International Sign Association in conjunction with the National Association of Manufacturers. This year, 46 locations opened their doors to students throughout the U.S. and Canada.
DāNite Sign Company was one of them!
Students from the Eastland Career Center and Southwestern City Schools got to tour DāNite’s 33,000 sq ft facility and see examples of the diverse variety in trades required in the production a single sign. From administrative and sales staff, project managers, estimators, graphic designers, engineers, steel workers, welders, electricians, painters, printers, crane operators, service techs, and helpers, it takes all sorts of skilled tradesmen and women working together towards a common goal of excellence to produce each and every sign. Many students claimed that the filed trip was an eye opening experience and expressed interest in pursuing a career in the sign industry.
The International Sign Association reported in a press release on their website: “We’ve seen companies make hires as a direct result of participation in previous Sign Manufacturing Day events,” said Lori Anderson, ISA president and CEO. “This program, and the ongoing relationship that it affords participants to develop with local community colleges, technical schools and high schools, will go a long way toward addressing the challenge of finding skilled workers.”
DāNite Sign Company can attest to that!
After Sign Manufacturing Day last year, DāNite Sign Co took on one of the most inquisitive and engaged senior students on the tour as a shop intern. This year, Preston was able to share his hands-on experience in the sign industry with his former classmates, now as a full time DāNite employee! In December of 2016 an eager welding student from Southwest Career Academy will begin an internship with DāNite Sign Company, learning sign fabrication in the shop. He’s extremely excited to begin, stating that working in the signage industry feels like it could be more of a career path than just a job for him. In fact, of the 90 students that toured the DāNite there were 40 that expressed interest in an internship!
That’s a real “field trip success story”.
At the end of the tour DāNite fed the hungry students lunch. They ate a bakers dozen of the enormous 30″ D & E-Z-O’s Destroyer pizzas, (apparently high school students can really put away some pizza), then posed for group photographs in a grounded crane basket against a printed backdrop from a DāNite installer’s image atop the AEP building.
All in all, the day was educational, filling, and good fun for the students and DāNite employees alike. It’s easy to become numb to a working environment that you see day in and day out, but the palpable excitement that comes from taking almost anyone on a tour of the DāNite shop is enough to remind all of us of how special a place this is, and how truly fascinating the sign industry can be. Send a group of special trades students on the tour, and the excitement is amplified tenfold because they’re not just interested observers.
They want to participate!
DāNite Sign Company looks forward to continuing this sharing & mentoring tradition for many, many years to come. We are grateful to our partners at the International Sign Association for giving us the platform from which to host such a worthwhile event.
Jennifer Bender / Creative Director & Project Manager