Every year the NCAA holds national signing days for high school athletes who commit to playing at one of the nation’s colleges and universities, often with help from athletic scholarships.
It’s not that different than what some companies do for incoming OSU Institute of Technology students that they sponsor through a variety of ways including scholarships, paid internship, uniforms and even tools.
Now OSUIT and manufacturer Choctaw Defense want to celebrate the company’s first sponsored students, Tanner Williams and Colby Crosby, with a signing ceremony similar to those held for student athletes.
The Choctaw Defense signing is Tuesday May 26 at 2 p.m., at the company’s headquarters, 3 Skyway Dr., in McAlester.
“Such a big deal is made of the NCAA national signing day. With our industry sponsorships, we thought this would be a good way to draw attention to the fact that our students signing agreements with businesses are getting support for their college education, will have a paid internship with their sponsor and will embark on their career at their sponsor’s place of business when they graduate,” said Ina Agnew, vice president of Student Services.
Williams and Crosby will each receive a $2,000 scholarship every semester, a paid internship during their fifth semester, branded clothing to wear on campus and full time employment at Choctaw Defense upon graduation from OSUIT’s Manufacturing program.
Similar to an NCAA signing day ceremony, Williams and Crosby will be surrounded by family and friends, but also community leaders and representatives from Choctaw Defense and the Choctaw Nation at their signing event.
Agnew said Choctaw Defense is willing to invest in their workforce upfront through sponsorships; a practice she hopes expands to other businesses and companies.
“Choctaw Defense’s sponsorship model is really causing other businesses to take a good, hard look at how they hire skilled technicians,” she said. “Building their workforce pipeline, instead of just hiring at the point they need someone, means they’ll always have a pool of talent ready to employ.”
Other businesses and corporations are considering holding similar signing events for their sponsored students in the future, Agnew said.