Vactor signs Streator High School duo to join team

Graduating seniors will join company in assembly, welding departments

Graduating senior Daniel Koval signs his letter of intent Tuesday, May 14, 2024, to work at Vactor Manufacturing during a Signing Day event at Streator High School.

Vactor Manufacturing’s Signing Day at Streator High School has become a tradition – to the point that its first signing class is returning to congratulate the latest recruits.

At the fourth signing day Tuesday, Vactor welcomed graduating seniors Daniel Koval and Nolan Pratt to its team from the high school’s work program.

Tyler Trotter, now a production supervisor, was one of the first four graduating seniors to be recognized during a Vactor signing day in 2019 and spoke about Pratt’s accomplishments at Vactor.

“His production is second to none,” Trotter said of Pratt, reading the words of supervisor Anthony Sondgeroth.

The signing day event takes its motivation from sports signing days, in which a student athlete declares their intent to play sports for a specific college. In this case, the graduating senior is accepting a vocational career out of high school.

Koval and Pratt will start at a pay rate of $28.58 an hour. Koval will be working as an assembler in the small parts department and Pratt will be a welder.

Koval said he likes to work with his hands and handles a lot of small parts that most people don’t think of when building larger trucks.

“He’s all business, he’s a buzzer to buzzer kid, he starts working right away,” assembly supervisor Keith Lackner said. “... He caught on really fast and didn’t need much training at all. We showed him one time and that’s all it took.”

Pratt said he found a niche for himself by taking welding classes at the high school, knowing he could take the skill and turn it into something valuable. He was able to connect with Vactor through Streator High’s work program in 2022 and has worked with them through the co-op for the past two years.

“He is a fine young man with a fantastic work ethic,” Trotter said of Pratt. “... His welding has gone from good to great. He has learned many different jobs and has a can-do attitude.”

Pratt said he likes the environment at Vactor.

“For me personally, there’s a lot to learn out there,” he said. “I’ve always liked it. A lot of the people make it who it is and what the company has grown to be. It really makes your day go by faster when you have people you can talk to and rely on.”

Vactor HR Manager Katie Muntz said the company is appreciative of the work program at Streator High School and looks forward to continuing to build on that relationship with each new hire.

Graduating senior Nathan Pratt signs his intent to work at Vactor Manufacturing on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at Streator High School.
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