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COLUMBIA – Welding and other technical students at Hickman High School will receive recognition for their college decisions Tuesday.

17 students will sign their commitment papers to attend State Technical College of Missouri. Welding instructor Thomas Kovacs said his students deserve the ceremony because society doesn’t acknowledge them in the same way as other higher education students.

“In the career world, we see the push to college so much,” he said. “I don’t think our students that are going to tech school get the recognition they deserve.”

Kovacs said everyday things people take for granted, like plumbing, come from the skills his students have. Welding student Boone Serak agrees.

“I don’t think they would understand just immediately how much that could impact their daily life,” she said. “Say, when your school gets overcrowded or not having the new building downtown, that can help bring in more revenue for the city.”

Kovacs put together the signing ceremony to show how non-traditional skills can be celebrated. Nine of the 17 students signing Tuesday are advanced welding students at Hickman.

Other fields Hickman students are signing for include nursing, electrical distribution and utility work.

Kovacs said the signing is open to the public. He said he invited several politicians but has not heard anything back yet.

The signing will take place at Tuesday at 2:30 pm at Hickman High School.