Ty Johannesen, left, and Jaiden Caviness (both from Lewiston), work together on a project using a band-saw. The two students attended training at Lewis and Clark State College over the summer.
Nezperce High School senior Joe McGuigan is one of a handful of high school students who landed a summer job with a manufacturing company after participating in an industry-based apprenticeship program. He worked for Hillco Technologies last summer, starting at $11 an hour as a summer intern, and he learned a wide variety of skill sets on the job, including driving a forklift and running machines.
There are more than 100 companies engaged in metal fabrication and manufacturing in north central Idaho – machine shops, guns and ammunition, farm equipment manufacturers and more. The workforce serving those companies is aging and nearing retirement age, and there’s a shortage of entry-level workers with the skills necessary to serve the industry.
“Manufacturing has picked up in the small communities in north central Idaho, including in Lewiston and Grangeville, and it’s tough hiring people to work in manufacturing in this area,” said Lenny Hill, McGuigan’s boss and president of Hillco Technologies.
Safe, plentiful and affordable drinking water, environmentally sound wastewater treatment, and the people who maintain the systems – are some of Idaho’s most precious resources and something many people take for granted.
“We are encouraging our 120 members to plan for the future,” explained Kelsie Cole, apprenticeship coordinator for the Idaho Rural Water Association. “More than half the professionals who oversee or operate Idaho’s drinking water and wastewater facilities are within 10 years or less of retirement. One-third are more than 55 years old. Another 30 percent are over age 45.”
Cole’s job is to meet the demand for future operators by pairing quality job candidates with a new statewide apprenticeship program involving 120 Idaho cities and communities that operate drinking water and wastewater systems throughout the state.
The Association is using a $30,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to recruit job candidates interested in a career managing Idaho’s drinking water or wastewater systems. What they need is more Idaho cities and communities willing to step up and offer the on-the-job training component of the apprenticeship program.
Interested in a career building the infrastructure or machines that are the backbone of modern technology? Or working to expand that frontier? If engineering is the career path for you, it is among the best paid occupations in the nation and Idaho compared with other occupations.
Depending on the specialization, in Idaho engineers earn a median from $32 to $57 per hour. As a group, it is among the fastest growing occupations in Idaho. The field is projected to grow by almost 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, adding 1,100 jobs with another 7,400 potential job opportunities as engineers retire or leave the occupation.
Employers are identifying a trend in their newly graduated employees— lack of soft skills. In particular, personal attributes that allow an individual to interact effectively with other people (i.e. transitional, transferable and foundational skills). Experts have also found that individuals change careers five to seven times in their lifetime. Regardless of what degree, career, field, job, or industry you go into, employers value soft skills.
Throughout my research, I have circled and come back to the soft skills employers, professional business bloggers, and labor analysts say are valued the most:
We all know that one person who committed to a college and a major before the start of senior year of high school. However, for the larger percentage of high school students considering a college or a four-year university, visiting a college campus can be a crucial step in making a decision.
Typically, students who are interested in post-secondary institutions fall into four different categories. First, there are those who know what post-secondary institution they will attend, but are undecided on a major. Then, there are students who know what they want to study, but not at what institution. There are those students who do not know what or where they want to study. Finally, there is that small, lucky percentage of students who know what they want to study and where.
Going to a post-secondary school is a personal and family decision based on a few factors including, location, living options, programs of study, college culture, cost, etc. Combined, all of these factors could be overwhelming to any student and her parents. Here are a few helpful tips to consider before making a cross-country trip or committing to a miss-fit for the next four years.
As the school year and graduation festivities end, many graduates may find themselves without a job or direction on how to find one. Whether looking for a summer job or your first professional entry-level position, there are many things to consider when creating your resume. A resume highlights skills, accomplishments, knowledge and experiences.
Before creating a resume, collect all information on previous job history, educational background and skills, as well as other accomplishments that will relate to the position for which you are applying. Make sure you tailor your resume to fit each position.
This year has seen an increase in attendance by families at the YourFIT expos.
The Your Future in Technology (YourFIT) program has expanded this year and now provides students with the option of learning about the Diesel / On-Site Power Generation Technology program available through the College of Technology at Idaho State University.
“This particular program has a lot of interest and will help local employers who are needing to hire diesel mechanics. This is especially true of Western States Caterpillar who recently built a new facility here,” said Kandi Rudd, regional manager of the Pocatello office of the Idaho Department of Labor.
The other career focuses of the YourFit program include welding, machinist, instrumentation (controls), maintenance engineers (mechanics), nuclear operation tech, information technology (geographic information systems, computer information systems, cybersecurity), outdoor electrical and unmanned aerial systems (drones).
“The reason why we focused on these jobs is because they are high growth jobs, they are in demand and they are high paying jobs,” Rudd said.
This Idaho Forest Group log processor grabs, strips and cuts logs as a student is shown the equipment controls.
A total of 400 students, more than 50 businesses and many volunteers participated in the 9th Annual Hard Hats, Hammers & Hot Dogs event in Kootenai County in early October. The career day is designed to give students exposure to manufacturing, construction, logging, truck driving, and a variety of other skilled trades.
Students toured the new North Idaho College Career and Technical Education (CTE) facility, located next to the Kootenai Technical Education Campus (KTEC) where the event was held. CTE has CAD technology, Welding, Automotive, Machine and CNC classes along with other technical programs.
After the tour, students were able to get hands-on experience operating dozers, skid steers, log processors and much more. The students also engaged in activities indoors with the idea of exposing them to the many occupational opportunities in North Idaho.
How much will the lifestyle you desire cost you every month? How big a bite will routine bills take out of your paycheck? Which occupations provide the kind of salary that will let you buy what you want? Reality Check, an Idaho Career Information System tool, can help you, your students or your children understand the relationship between earnings, purchases and paying the bills.
Reality Check is helpful for students trying to understand the connection between income and expenses. A 12-item survey includes options for large monthly expenses like housing, utilities, transportation and health care. It also includes budget choices for entertainment, personal care, savings, student loan repayment and a “miscellaneous” category. The budget figures in Reality Check are updated throughout the year and accurately indicate the current cost of living in Idaho’s six metropolitan areas: Boise, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Pocatello and Twin Falls.
The Minidoka County School District will use a $25,000 micro-grant from the Idaho Department of Labor to provide skilled workers for manufacturing companies in Minidoka and Cassia counties.
Training will be offered as a two-year program to high school juniors and seniors at Minico High School and will include basic knowledge of welding, electrical wiring, centrifugal and positive displacement pumps, using basic hand and power tools, reading blueprints, safety procedures and soft skills. The classroom setting will be supplemented by lab and worksite training at partner companies.