Fair held at Cottonwood
On Wednesday, October 7, 2015, the Idaho Lewis County Partners and ILCTE Foundation hosted the 3rd Bi-Annual Idaho-Lewis County Career Expo at the Idaho County Fairgrounds in Cottonwood, ID.
Four hundred-eighty students in grades 7-12 attended the Career Expo from Clearwater Valley, Grangeville, Highland, Kamiah, Nezperce, Prairie 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), law enforcement tactical gear, National Guard Humvee and currency counters, just to name a few. Over 30 exhibitors attended the event showcasing local employment in many different industries, military careers, and post-secondary education options.
Students began the day with a general assembly where they were given an event program, local career catalog, and learned what was expected of them for the day. The schools were then split into teams and took turns visiting the three exhibit areas and attending the educational breakout session hosted by NW Intermountain Dream It. Do It. on “Local Careers in Modern Manufacturing” with presenter Deb Smith of Clearwater Economic Development Association.During lunch, students were split into two groups, taking turns with one group eating lunch and the other attending an interactive presentation on “Career Choices Based on Personality” by Carla Wilkins from the LCSC Grangeville Outreach Center.
“The exhibitors did a wonderful job of showcasing local employment, careers and educational options,” 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 high school students the many different careers that are available to them locally. 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 in their home towns!”
This year Governor Butch Otter declared October Manufacturing Month in Idaho. One of the event’s highlights helped students realize the global impact local manufacturing can have. The feller head simulator, from international company Waratah Forestry Attachments, showed students how local metal manufacturing, wood products manufacturing and today’s technical logging are linked. (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 that are then used in logging operations around the world. The Idaho Forest Group Grangeville sawmill processes the lumber harvested by local logging companies utilizing Waratah feller heads and Gem Chain Bar parts then sends the manufactured wood products around the world. 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 including this year’s Corporate Sponsor P1FCU. Additional information on the Career Expo, including a full list of sponsors and event pictures, is available on the Career Expo Facebook page – facebook.com/idaholewiscountycareerexpo.
Several photos from the Career Expo provided by Melisa Bryant. The top photo shows some of the Idaho National Guard equipment while the middle photo shows many of the students in the Schmidt Building at the Idaho County Fairgrounds in Cottonwood and the bottom photo shows students in the Open Class building checking out some of the exhibitors.