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Vactor signs the Streator High School duo to join team Shaw Local


Vactor Manufacturing’s signing day at Streator High School has become a tradition – to the point that the first signing class returns to congratulate the newest recruits.

Now in his fourth installation, Vactor welcomed graduating seniors Daniel Koval and Nathan Pratt to his high school work program team on Tuesday.

Tyler Trotter, now a production supervisor, was one of the first four graduating seniors recognized at a Vactor signing day in 2019 and spoke about Pratt’s achievements 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, when a student-athlete declares his intention to play sports for a specific university. In this case, the graduating senior accepts a professional career after high school.

Koval and Pratt start at $28.58 per hour. Koval starts working as an assembler in the small parts department and Pratt becomes a welder.

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

“He’s all business, buzzer to buzzer, he gets to work right away,” said Keith Lackner, installation supervisor. “…He picked it up really quickly and didn’t need much training at all. We showed him once and that was all it took.”

Pratt said he carved a niche for himself by taking welding classes in 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’s 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 likes the environment at Vactor.

“For me personally, there is a lot to learn,” he said. “I’ve always liked it. Many people make it who it is and what the company has become. Your day really goes by faster when you have people you can talk to and rely on.”

Katie Muntz, HR manager at Vactor, said the company appreciates the work program at Streator High School and looks forward to building on that relationship with each new hire.

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