Delivering a keynote address at Platt Technical High School’s graduation last Thursday, Mayor Ben Blake praised the graduates for being well prepared for their futures.

The students, who chose a technical school education, are prepared for a technical and academic world, the mayor told them.

“Without question, there are talented students out there looking for jobs, higher education, and opportunities,” Blake said. “And, yes, you are competing with all of them for the best opportunities. But you, Platt Tech grads, have the significant advantage of skills; real, marketable skills applicable to today’s workforce.”

He said the Platt students will benefit from academic courses and hands-on training, and from the connections they have made with students from Milford and beyond who attended Platt.

Finally, he told the students they are in good shape because they have started on their careers already.

“You have chosen to concentrate in architecture, automotives, carpentry, computer aided drafting, culinary arts, electrical, electronics, electromechanical, hairdressing, HVAC, information systems, or manufacturing,” Blake said. “These are critically important fields that our state, our nation, and our world require now more than ever.”

Despite the future for which Platt prepared them, the graduates will still have to work hard, the mayor added.

“As we all know, skills are just one piece of the puzzle — talent, education, determination, flexibility, ingenuity and yes, good breaks and who you know — all factor into success. And, success is what we are all striving for, though we each have our own definition of what success truly means.”

Kevin Pineda of Stratford was class salutatorian, and Ashley Hatt of West Haven was the valedictorian.

Last Thursday’s graduation ceremony was the first that was held outside, school officials said.

Principal Sheila Williams said it was exciting to initiate the first ever Platt Tech outdoor graduation, “allowing for an opportunity for more of our graduates’ families and friends to join them in such a special accomplishment.”