- Northwoods students got a taste of heavy metal Wednesday, but not of the long hair, loud music sort.
Three hundred fifty eighth graders came to Nicolet College to tour labs and classrooms, hear presentations from area companies, and each school toured a local manufacturer.
"We went to NorthStar." What kind of stuff did you see there? "We saw the cabs of many things. We saw cabs of skidders," says Jesse Hanson, from Crandon Middle School.
"And instead of using machines they do everything hands on," says Brennan Livermore, from Elcho Middle School.
It's all in an effort to introduce kids to the local manufacturing sector.
"To expose today's students to today's manufacturing. To give the manufacturers an opportunity to tell students what it's like to get a job in manufacturing. And to also tell the students they can make a very family sustaining wage in manufacturing," says Bruce Tremble, from the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board.
Organizers say they picked eighth graders for this fieldtrip because it's an early enough age to plant the idea that maybe they'd like to get into manufacturing.
"You know what eighth graders really are at a great opportunity to say, 'What direction do I want to go and what are some of the opportunities as I'm going forward in my educational career?'" says Teri Phalin, the Nicolet College PK-16 Admissions Coordinator.
Since about half of the manufacturing workforce is over 50, the industry will be ready for these students by the time they're ready to enter it.
"I heard that most of the time jobs are looking for welding people. I've tried welding; it's fun," says Livermore.
A reaction that could turn into a profession.
Nicolet College, the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, and Grow North Regional picked up the tab so it's free for the schools to attend.