Category Archives: Students

State-run Idaho Job Corps Sets Students Up for Success

student cutting board

Hunter, a Job Corps student, cuts a board to be used for a bed built during a community service project.

Ben wanted to pursue a college education, but couldn’t afford the tuition. That all changed when he enrolled in a state-run Idaho Job Corps program which focuses on helping low-income youth obtain higher education or on-the-job training.

“I’ve always been interested in chemistry and I never would have been able to afford college if I hadn’t come here,” Ben said. “I’m going for a chemistry degree at the College of Western Idaho, and I’m going to finish my degree at Boise State or BYU.

Ben enrolled in Idaho’s new state-run Job Corps program thanks to a three-year, $17.7 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to the Idaho Department of Labor, which restructured the program and now manages the Nampa facility.

“Our goal is to provide every student with a job and an hourly living wage of at least $16 by the time they graduate,” said Labor Director Jani Revier. “Depending on individual needs, students can enroll in the program for anywhere between three to 24 months.”

Joining Ben are 44 more students who are currently enrolled in the program. Twenty-six more will start Wednesday, Feb. 5. Idaho Job Corps Manager Tina Polishchuk, Ed.D., expects enrollment to reach 150 students by the end of 2020. 

Idaho Job Corps staff are recruiting students by contacting high school counselors, social service agencies, through word of mouth, social media and by offering free campus tours on Wednesdays. Plans are for the pilot program to expand during years two and three by engaging in partnerships with community colleges in Twin Falls, Idaho Falls and Coeur d’Alene.

“We plan to serve an additional 50 students at each remote location, starting with the College of Southern Idaho and North Idaho College,” said Polishchuk. “Our goal is to have finalized agreements by the end of February.” Continue reading

Innovative Program in North-Central Idaho Prepares Students for Local Manufacturing Jobs

students working on band saw

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.

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Rural Idaho Seeks Apprentices for Maintaining Sewer, Water Systems

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.

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Engineering Careers Among Best Paid Occupations

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.

Read more about engineering on the BLS website.

Learn about other career options in JobScape.

Idaho Department of Labor

Soft Skills Are Important to Getting and Keeping Your Job

You graduated… so what?

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:

  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Team work skills
  • Punctuality
  • Critical thinking
  • Social skills
  • Creativity
  • Interpersonal communication/ cultural sensitivity
  • Adaptability
  • Problem solving
  • Conflict resolution
  • Work ethic

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Campus Tour is Important Step in Choosing a College

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.

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Looking for Your First Job? These Resume Tips Can Get You Started

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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.

Getting Started

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.

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Your Future in Technology Program Expands in its Second Year

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.

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Brightest Stars Ceremony Recognizes Idaho’s Volunteers

Seventy-four outstanding volunteers from throughout the state were recently honored by Lt. Gov. Brad Little at Idaho’s Brightest Stars awards ceremony in Boise.

The volunteers were nominated for their contributions in seven categories – Business, Individual, Nonprofit/Civic Organization, Senior Citizen, Student, Teacher/Professor and Veteran. All were nominated by fellow Idahoans for their extraordinary volunteer efforts.

The winners were:

Veteran:

John Harrington Burns Brightest Stars award winner

John Harrington Burns, photo courtesy Doug Brown

John Harrington Burns depicts what it means to be a lifelong volunteer.  A World War II Navy veteran, John is the founder of the Rock of Honor in Meridian, which honors the 66 veterans from Meridian who were killed or died from wounds suffered in action.  John is also the founder of the Freedom Museum in Manassas, Virginia, where he served on the board for many years.  In addition to his volunteer contributions, John is also the author of two books and writes a weekly column entitled “One Vet’s View” for the Valley Times Newspaper.  Although John is 90 years old, you would never know by his active engagement in the community and service to others. 

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Commemorate MLK Human Rights Day through Volunteerism and Celebration

Monday, Jan. 16 is Martin Luther King Jr. / Idaho Human Rights Day and there are plenty of opportunities throughout Idaho to volunteer and celebrate King’s legacy.

Historically, Martin Luther King Jr. Day marks the recognition of the birth and life of the Baptist minister and noted civil rights leader. National legislation passed in 1994 encouraging Americans to transform the holiday into a day of citizen action in honor of King. If you have Martin Luther King Jr. / Idaho Human Rights Day off, you can put it to good use by participating in one of the many day of service activities across Idaho.

Learn more about events planned around the state:

Southwest Idaho

Boise State University MLK march, rally and celebration. Boise State University poster-making, march and rally to be held on Monday, Jan. 16 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Student Union Jordan Ballroom and ending at the steps of the Idaho State Capitol at noon.

Martin Luther King Jr / Idaho Human Rights Day celebration at the Idaho State Capitol Building on Monday, Jan. 16 at noon. The public is invited to attend this hourlong celebration of “a day of service” honoring the life, accomplishments and continuing legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This event will feature keynote speaker Said Ahmed-Zaid, College of Engineering, Boise State University; master of ceremonies Francisco Salinas, director of student diversity and inclusion, Boise State University and the Boise State University Trumpeters. Allison Tilden will sing the National Anthem.

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