Students participating in the Nicolet College’s annual Heavy Metal Tour stop at Ponsse in Rhinelander Wednesday, Oct. 2. The eighth-grade students were shown all aspects of the business, which sells and services heavy machinary, both the control side and the business side that can cut a tree down, strip in of limbs and cut it into eight-foot lengths.
10/5/2019 7:30:00 AM Easy metal Northwoods students explore manufacturing careers
More than 600 eighth-grade students from across the Northwoods stepped out of their classrooms Wednesday for a look at the potential careers waiting for them after they finish their education.
The students toured nine different manufacturing facilities and an automotive dealership located in the Rhinelander and Tomahawk areas as part of Nicolet College's annual Heavy Metal Tour.
According to Sarah Gruber, dual credit coordinator at Nicolet, the students got a firsthand look at a variety of careers.
"The general idea is to expose students at a young age to the different types of manufacturing careers that we have in the area, and ways Nicolet can help them get into those careers," Gruber said.
The daylong event was designed to show students first hand the many different careers available in manufacturing and the training necessary to work in the field.
The manufacturers and businesses that took part are ones actively seeking more skilled employees.
"I don't think that students realize the reach that these companies have within Wisconsin, but then nationally and internationally," Gruber said. "These companies do a lot of business, and I think the students leave here very surprised at what companies in this area can do."
Gruber said that there were more businesses volunteering to take part.
"We have gotten more businesses this year, but as far as participation, we pretty much have all of the middle schools in our district participating, with maybe the exception of one or two," she said.
One thing Gruber noted that there are more females involved due to the growth of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) training.
"Definitely, with more focus on S.T.E.M. careers and different, non-traditional routes, I would say that females are definitely looking more at these careers and being encouraged to look at these careers," Gruber said.
Businesses that participating in the Heavy Metal Tour this year include AirPro Fan Blower Co., Charter NEX, Daigle Brothers, Lake Shore Systems, Inc., Northstar Steel, Ponsse, Printpack, Samuel Pressure Vessel Group - Tomahawk, Scaffidi Truck Centers, and Superior Diesel.
The following schools attended the Heavy Metal Tour: Arbor Vitae-Woodruff, Crandon, Elcho, James Williams Middle School, Laona, Mercer, Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk, Nativity Catholic School, North Lakeland, Northland Pines Middle School, Phelps, Three Lakes, Tomahawk, Wabeno, and Woodland Charter School.
Jamie Taylor may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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