San Angelo ISD Expands Recruitment Day to Include More Industries

A San Angelo ISD student interviewing with representatives from Baptist Retirement Community during Recruitment Day
A San Angelo ISD student interviewing with representatives from the Lower Colorado River Authority during Recruitment Day
A San Angelo ISD student shaking hands with the owner of Heare Services during Recruitment Day
A San Angelo ISD student interviewing with a business during Recruitment Day
A San Angelo ISD student interviewing with a representative from Wendland Manufacturing during Recruitment Day
A San Angelo ISD student interviewing with representatives from SAISD Special Programs during Recruitment Day
A San Angelo ISD student interviewing with representatives from Shannon Health Systems during Recruitment Day
A San Angelo ISD student interviewing with representatives from SAISD Special Programs during Recruitment Day
A San Angelo ISD student interviewing with a representative from W&W AFCO Steel during Recruitment Day
A San Angelo ISD student interviewing with SAISD Executive Director of Athletics, Rodney Chant, during Recruitment Day
A San Angelo ISD student interviewing with a representative from Home Instead during Recruitment Day
San Angelo ISD Expands Recruitment Day to Include More Industries

More than 120 graduating seniors in the San Angelo ISD Career & Technical Education (CTE) Pathways had the opportunity to connect with local businesses in CTE-related industries at the 3rd Annual Recruitment Day May 2, 2024. Throughout the day, students, ready with their resumes, participated in multiple “speed-dating” style interview sessions with representatives from various businesses, practiced interviewing skills and learned more about the businesses.

“We are preparing the next generation of the Concho Valley workforce!” said Roxanne Fentress, SAISD Director of Career & Technical Education. “Recruitment Day is about providing access – employers access to a pool of students with certifications and entry-level experience, and students access to a pool of employers looking for experienced individuals ready to enter the workforce.”

Central High School senior Daniel Martinez has three years welding experience and interviewed with five local businesses in the welding and fabrication industry during Recruitment Day. Daniel said his plan after graduating is to go into the workforce and work as a welder. “I love welding,” Daniel said. “It’s cool to see something that you built.” There are about 20 types of welding jobs in the welding and manufacturing industry. Daniel’s interest in welding centers around industrial pipeline welding or oil rig welding, but he is also interested in possibly working with one of the businesses he interviewed with during Recruitment Day.

Daniel said the experience he received participating in the interviews was one of the most valuable parts of the day for him. “Just seeing all the job opportunities that are available to me and getting to know people in the industry, it was really helpful.” Daniel said. “Them telling me about what they do, me getting to ask questions, this is all really great practice for later interviews.” 

Recruitment Day is a collaborative effort of SAISD’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) department, the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce Economic Development team and the Concho Valley Workforce Development Board. The event began three years ago as “Fabricator’s Recruitment Day,” to address the overwhelming need for employees in the welding and fabrication industry. 

“The skilled labor gap is not a career pitch – we are not going to fill that gap simply by pushing the number of job openings,” said San Angelo Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Manager Mike Berry. “It is vital we help the future workforce understand the job stability and the healthy quality of life the technical and trades careers can provide. We encourage all of our regional employers and school districts to partner with us so we can work together to bridge the gap and build a stronger workforce for the future of San Angelo and the Concho Valley Region.”

Numerous factors contribute to the skilled-labor shortage many trades face, including recession, priorities in education and lack of younger workers to fill vacancies left by older generations. SAISD’s CTE program and the City of San Angelo continually work to provide, expand and improve upon the array of options offered to our students that help them explore and prepare for their individual success – whether that is pursuing a college education or entering the workforce. 

“Recruitment Day is not just a job fair or a day for mere career exploration,” said Mr. Berry. “This is a dedicated event that gives local business direct access to graduating seniors who are ready to work, and facilitates a day of interviews, speed-dating style.”

This year, 23 local businesses and SAISD departments in the CTE industry participated in the event, expanding the array of represented industries from welding and fabrication to also include health sciences, education and training, construction, and automotive. The name of the event was subsequently changed to “Recruitment Day.” 

Anastasia Brayer, a senior at Lake View High School, plans on attending Angelo State University after graduating high school to pursue a degree in biology. During Recruitment Day, Anastasia interviewed with several departments of three local businesses in the healthcare industry and said she made several valuable connections during her interviews. She said she was impressed with how supportive some of the businesses were when discussing school schedules. “It was great learning how well the businesses will work around a school schedule because I will be doing school full-time while working,” Anastasia said. 

Since the event’s inception three years ago, teachers and counselors at both Lake View High School and Central High School have helped their students prepare for Recruitment Day in many ways, including assisting students with creating resumes. Like most of the students who attended Recruitment Day, Alexis Long, a senior at Central, already has items listed on her resume relevant to a professional career. Besides extracurricular activities and involvement in student organizations, Alexis also listed her volunteer experience with the Nature Center and CPR/AED (cardiopulmonary resuscitation/automated external defibrillator) certification listed on her resume. Since June 2013, Texas State law (TEC §28.0023) requires school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to students in grades 7 through 12. 

Alexis said her plans after graduating high school are to obtain a degree in education from Angelo State University and ultimately become a teacher and a coach. During Recruitment Day, Alexis interviewed with several SAISD departments. “I would like to be accepted into the Two-Step program and be employed at San Angelo ISD,” she said. The Texas 2-Step Program is a partnership between Howard College and Angelo State University that provides paraprofessionals with the foundation coursework and intensive field experience to become a classroom-ready teacher.

“Being able to expand to additional certification and program areas is a benefit to both our high school seniors and industry,” said Ms. Fentress. “For example, our seniors graduating with Educational Aide certification visited with SAISD administrators for actual positions with our district, and our seniors graduating with their Certified Nurse Aide certification visited with officials from Shannon Medical Center, who now know which students are certified and ready to begin entry-level positions within their company … Our goal is to continue this event and add more programs of study to introduce employers to students in ALL of our CTE programs. With students earning certifications in all 12 of our programs of study, it would be my goal to allow all those students opportunities to interview with potential employers.”  

Participation from students and businesses in Recruitment Day has grown exponentially since the implementation of the event three years ago. The first two recruitment day events focused on welding and fabrication. Five businesses and 19 students participated in the Inaugural Fabricator's Recruitment Day. The successful event generated interest in the welding and fabrication industry and SAISD's welding program grew more than 150% as a result. Event participation increased the following year, with six businesses and 38 SAISD students participating in the 2nd Annual Fabricator's Recruitment Day.

“This year, SAISD partnered with the Concho Valley Workforce Development Board, and as we met to plan out the event everyone decided it was time to build upon the success of the last two years,” said Mr. Berry. “The number of businesses participating grew by 300% and the number of students ready to interview increased by 120%. Many of the businesses represented this year commented that they have never attended an event like this where they could actually conduct screening interviews for potential talent right before they graduated high school. For students, what they learned through this process is invaluable – how to prepare a resume, how to prepare for interview questions, how to present and ‘sell’ yourself to a potential employer. Of utmost importance, each student received feedback from every employer with whom they interviewed on standardized feedback forms that gave them insights on their perceived strengths and weaknesses. They may not realize it yet, but this is gold, to have honest constructive comments, reactions and advice from the business community.”

SAISD would like to acknowledge the following businesses that helped make Recruitment Day possible: All American Chevrolet, City of San Angelo, Jim Bass Ford, Brothers Plumbing, Housley Communications, IBEW Local 520, Lower Colorado River Authority, Baptist Retirement Community, Home Instead, MHMR of the Concho Valley, Shannon Health Systems, Heare Services, Long Industries, Reece Albert, W&W AFCO Steel, Wendland Manufacturing and Western Towers. We thank these community partners for supporting the future opportunities of our CTE students as they prepare to begin a new chapter toward their own dreams. For more information on how to participate in Recruitment Day in the future, please contact Roxanne Fentress or Mike Berry

To stay up-to-date on San Angelo ISD, please visit the SAISD website at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About San Angelo ISD Career & Technical Education Program

San Angelo ISD is proud of our expansive CTE programs that support student future-readiness with courses providing clear direction to pursue high-demand, post-secondary opportunities, whether that be a college education, joining the military, or entering the workforce. 

At San Angelo ISD, welding is one of the 50 technical dual credit courses offered through the district’s partnership with Howard College. Our CTE courses are taught by Howard College instructors or SAISD employees that are certified adjunct faculty. Students enrolled in our CTE programs can leave high school with:

  • valuable technical dual credit, 
  • industry-based certifications and licensures,
  • participation in resume-building student leadership organizations, and
  • the ability to directly enter the workforce. 

At San Angelo ISD, students have the opportunity to participate in Student Leadership Organizations, such as  Skills USA and FFA, within our CTE courses. San Angelo ISD is proud to provide relevant and inspiring course opportunities through CTE which produce future-ready graduates and the ability for our students to follow their individual hopes and dreams.