Students learn about careers at Career Expo
On Wednesday, October 2, 2013, the Idaho Lewis County Partners hosted the Second Annual Idaho-Lewis County Career Expo at the Idaho County Fairgrounds in Cottonwood, ID.
Four hundred high school students attended the Career Expo from Clearwater Valley, Grangeville, Kamiah, Nezperce and Prairie high schools and Summit Academy.  Employers captured the attention of the students with great hands-on exhibits like the Idaho Transportation Department’s snow plow simulator, a Waratah feller head simulator (modern forestry tool), a Marine chin-up bar, a frontend loader, law enforcement tactical gear, and currency counters, just to name a few.  There were 37 exhibitors registered but the Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers and Idaho Army National Guard were unable to attend due to the government shutdown.  
Students began the day with a general assembly where they were given bags from St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics that included an event program, local career catalog, job seeking materials from the Idaho Department of Labor and the students learned what was expected of them for the day.  The schools were split into teams and took turns visiting the three exhibit areas and attending the educational breakout session hosted by Syringa Hospital on “Careers in Health Care.”  After lunch, students ended the day by turning in an event survey along with proof they visited at least 20 exhibits for a chance to win prizes donated by Inland Cellular. 
“The exhibitors did a wonderful job of showcasing what employers are in the two counties,” said organizer Melisa Bryant of Ida-Lew EDC.  “Local employers from across Idaho and Lewis counties took time to talk with students about what career opportunities they have and what secondary and post secondary education will help the students be successful in going to work for them.  The Career Expo is meant to show local high school students the many different careers that local employers have.  Students always seem surprised to learn that careers like Sales and Marketing Director, Product Development Engineer, Certified Public Accountant, Network Administrator, Machinist, Air Plane Mechanic, Evidence Technician, Biologist, Project Manager and Chief Executive Officer are available here!”
One of the event’s highlights was that, through a partnership between Gem Chain Bar and Idaho Forest Group, Waratah Forestry Attachments joined this year’s exhibitors with a feller head simulator. (A feller head is mechanical cutting attachment used in logging.)  By visiting the simulator, students had a hands-on experience with complex logging equipment operator controls assisted by an on-board computer that optimizes programs and electronic controls.  Gem Chain Bar locally manufactures the 3/4 pitch guide bars, drive sprockets, and sprocket tips that are used in Waratah Forestry Attachments products like feller head machinery.  The Idaho Forest Group Grangeville sawmill processes the lumber harvested by local logging companies utilizing Waratah feller heads.  By learning about the connection between these three companies, students were exposed to multiple facets of the modern forestry industry.  Students learned from all three exhibitors that modern forestry is both high tech and challenging. 
The Idaho-Lewis County Career Expo is made possible through generous sponsorship by area employers, organizations and businesses.  Additional information on the Career Expo, including a list of sponsors and event pictures, is available on the Ida-Lew EDC website:
Idaho Lewis County Partners is a collection of schools, businesses, employers, and community members.  ILCP’s mission is to stimulate economic growth and stability by expanding/enhancing educational opportunities, increasing external business opportunities for existing businesses, and fostering new business while maintaining community values.
The Idaho-Lewis County Career Expo is a career fair for students attending the eight high schools in Idaho and Lewis counties to discover local employment options and career paths.  The Idaho-Lewis County Career Expo is organized annually by the Ida-Lew Economic Development Council.
Ida-Lew EDC is a non-profit organization formed by local partnerships with a desire to kindle economic growth in the scenic, resourceful and expansive heart of North Central Idaho.
Our local Economic Development Specialist accomplishes this goal by:
working with businesses to facilitate expansion and retention
supporting entrepreneurial development
assisting in the relocation of businesses to the local area
partnering with cities and counties to enhance economic infrastructure
matching resources to business and community growth opportunities
providing educational opportunities for new and existing businesses
creating innovative partnerships between businesses and schools
fostering mentoring and coaching relationships for newer businesses
To learn more about the Idaho-Lewis County Career Expo or for questions please contact Melisa Bryant at (208) 983-8302 or  

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
Fax 208-962-7131
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