Students were able to use simulators at the event. (KMCH photo)

Northeast Iowa Community College held its first-ever High Demand Skilled Trades Event for high school students Wednesday in Edgewood.

Gena Gesing is the school’s manager of Career and Work-Based Learning. “We’re trying to figure out really how to get students into careers that interests them and help employers fill their employment needs. So events like this help bridge that gap and bring the employers and students together so they can see the potential and what’s available right here in our local communities,” she says.

Adam Recker works for the land surveying company Fehr Graham and says it was a great opportunity to connect with the kids and explain more about what they do. “They wouldn’t know what we’re doing alongside the road. And given an opportunity to use a total station is a perfect way to see that we’re not just taking pictures, we’re gathering measurements,” Recker says.

Students were able to see what it’s like to run big equipment through simulators, they saw how meat lockers and sawmills work, along with a lot of other jobs. Maquoketa Valley senior Landin Frasher says they got hands-on experience with several industries.
“Some of these companies honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever really heard of it. So it gives you an opportunity to see new compact companies and what they have to offer for you,” Frasher says. “I think it’s important to see what options they have for you outside of school or like after high school.”

Frasher says many students probably didn’t know about the businesses before the event and also didn’t know the businesses will help you through schooling after high school and help pay for some or all of it. Gesing says they’re hoping to make it an annual event for high school students.

(By Janelle Tucker, KMCH, Manchester)

Radio Iowa