Careers to be on display for studentsOn Tuesday regional high school students will sit behind the wheel of a squad car, strap into a simulated cockpit or practice life-saving techniques.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
On Tuesday regional high school students will sit behind the wheel of a squad car, strap into a simulated cockpit or practice life-saving techniques.
All the experiences are part of a field trip billed as the Health and Tech and Trades Career Fair, which showcases what students can do as careers after obtaining two-year college degrees.
“We do this every other year and it’s designed for ninth-grade students, to help them develop whether they’re going to a two-year or less college, and help them develop what kind of career is out there for them,” said Ann Ede, director of career services at Triumph Inc. and a member of the Region VI Transition Team.
Part of what Triumph does is help find jobs for people with disabilities. But Tuesday’s fair is for all students.
On Tuesday close to 1,000 students will partake in hands-on examples of what 30 professions have to offer, ranging from welding to hairstyling.
“We’re hoping to be able to expose students to the concept that there are a lot of positions out there that don’t require a four-year degree,” Ede said. “Especially with what’s going on in the western part of the state.”
The Oil Patch has provided a high number of well-paying jobs and many people within and outside of the state choose to migrate there, she said. The problem therein lies that those people leave small towns which creates a void for skilled labor and a high demand for work.
At a recent South Central Dakota Regional Council meeting, a small town in the region offered to pay for school for a skilled laborer if that laborer returned home to work in the community.
There is a need for plumbers, electricians, carpenters or any other type of skilled labor in rural North Dakota, Ede said. Welders and diesel mechanics are also in high demand.
“When I was in high school that was never something that was thought of,” Ede said of a two-year degree. “… Now at this point, my four-year degree is going to make me a lot less money than someone who has a two-year degree right now.”
Four-year degrees also typically carry larger student loan debts versus a two-year degree.
Demand for labor is so high right now that some two-year programs will pay students to train, Ede said. One example is a heavy machinery operator.
“I don’t want discourage anyone from going on to get their four-year degree, but at the same time experience screams really loud in our area,” Ede said.
Quite a few jobs in the medical field don’t require four-year degrees and are in high demand, she said. These include licensed nurse practitioners, X-ray technicians and phlebotomists, who draw blood.
On Tuesday students will come from a nine-county region, which includes Stutsman, Foster, Wells, Barnes, Dickey, Griggs, LaMoure, Logan and McIntosh counties, to attend the career fair.
Keynote speakers are also planned, including one who will discuss what not to post on social media websites, and another who will talk about self-advocacy.
“This is another opportunity for all students to learn about careers that are out there — to learn about a two-year or less education,” Ede said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org