Skilled welding workers are in high demand and students at the Copper Country Intermediate School District are ready to help meet that need.
The Copper Country ISD held a CTE Welding Student Showcase on Tuesday where 15 welding students met with 30 local manufacturers, from Massie, Calumet Electronics, REL, Loukus Technologies, Royale, Anderson Welding, Laser North, L’Anse Manufacturing, Certainteed, Mohawk Tech, Selkey Fabrication, Great Lakes Sound & Vibration and A&S Industrial.
Students set up tables all through the Welding rooms to display their earned certifications and examples of their work. The local manufacturers spent time visiting with each student.
Superintendent George Stockero said, “This was a great first time event. The students and the manufactures learned a lot from each other.”
REL’s Josh Loukus said, “The 1st annual CTE student Expo established an important communication link between academia and local industry. Local industry representatives were able to directly interact with members of the future workforce and understand the level of applied science expertise that the CTE program was instilling into students. The students discussed their abilities and developed a first-hand understanding of the real world implications of participating in an applied science program akin to the one they are currently graduating from. This annual event is essential to furthering communication and collaboration between academia and Industry.”
L’Anse Manufacturing’s Mark Massicotte said, “The level of accomplishment presented at the evening program was impressive. In addition to the CTE skills, certificates, and functional examples the students were able to present themselves as ready and able to work.”
CTE Welding student Trent Carlson said, “I had a lot of fun and it was a great opportunity for me.”
CTE Welding student Lars Peterson said, “The showcase gave me a chance to get a job.”
CTE Welding student Seth Alholinna said, “It was nice getting to know some of the manufacturers that I hadn’t heard of before.”
CTE Welding student Josiah Manderfield said, “It was great to meet so many people.”
CTE Welding student Max Vadnais said, “It was fun talking to the manufacturers about their companies and their plans. It was great to have options in the future.”
CTE Welding teacher Tim Stites said, “What a fantastic way to get the present and future workforce interacting. It was awesome for the students to get some time to ask these employers questions about their businesses and what they are looking for in potential employees. Every business is different. Although there are many similarities in desired qualities and skills, it is great for students to hear that there are also many differences from one business to the next.”
“It also was nice to see that the students, know the importance of an event like this. They were excited to hear what is going on in our area and do some networking of their own,” added Stites.
CTE Director Shawn Kolbus said, “The event was a great success because of the support of our local manufacturers. I’m also proud of our students who commit themselves each and every day to learn the skills necessary for their future careers. Our plan is to make this a yearly event and expand to our other programs.”