ANTIGO - More people work in wood-related jobs in Wisconsin than in any other U.S. state.
Employers constantly need young, talented people with training in wood technology to complete their workforce.
Now, a local technical college is helping students as young as 15 years old think about their future in wood.
On Wednesday, Northcentral Tech College's Antigo campus showed off their Wood Tech Center to high schoolers in the Northwoods.
"Before students come here, they don't realize that there are job opportunities or career opportunities within the wood industry. When they come in here and see our facility and see our equipment, and they see what the program is all about, it really opens up their eyes," says Wood Tech Instructor Travis Allen.
NTC's Wood Tech Center is new - it was only completed in 2011.
Students from nearly a dozen school districts got to make something of their own on campus.
"They're going through the ripping, the chopping, the gluing, the sanding, the CNC routering of this cutting board, so they get this feel for mass production," Allen says.
Students at the Wood Tech Center choose from either a technical degree or a more advanced associates degree.
That puts them in a great position for landing a job right after getting their diploma.
"We're not training people to stack lumber. We're training people that can run optimizing equipment, that can ship wood to China, or Vietnam, or the East Coast or West Coast. We provide a lot of different career options for these students," says Allen.
Search "NTC Wood Technology" on Facebook for more information on the program.
We'll take you live to the Vilas County Courthouse for day 3 of the trial for 36-year-old Rodney Teets who is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman at knife point in July 2015.
The Northern Wisconsin Initiative to Stop Homelessness wants to work with landlords to help people get back on their feet. We talk to the housing program team leader about a meeting coming up in Rhinelander that will allow landlords to share information that can help the homeless find places to rent.
And we talk with The Forest County Health Department director about a program that is encouraging people to limit their time with TV, computers, iPhones and other types of screens for a week.
We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry hopes you'll sample some of the area's best salads and win some prizes on Saturday.
The pantry is hosting the Garden Fresh Salad Bowl event at Holiday Acres. It's a fundraiser for the pantry, and several local restaurants are participating.
"It should be a very nice event. It's a beautiful setting," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hansen. "We've got 12 different restaurants that have contributed salads toward this."
About half of the crowd will win handcrafted door prizes from the Northwoods Turners. The event runs from 11 to 1. Tickets are available at the food pantry, CT's Deli, Forth Floral, and People's State Bank.
MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says he hopes President Donald Trump's aggressive negotiating style will get Canadian officials to delay policy changes that will evaporate the demand for Wisconsin milk producers.
Walker said Wednesday that Trump's retaliatory move to impose tariffs on Canadian lumber was aggressive but appreciated.
Dozens of Wisconsin dairy farmers lost a market for their milk after Canada announced plans to change its dairy pricing policy to favor domestic milk.
TOMAHAWK - Unless you find yourself in trouble, you don't usually sit down and talk with a cop.
The Tomahawk Police Department held its monthly Coffee with a Cop meeting Wednesday morning.
It gives people the chance to pull up a chair and talk to Chief Al Elvins about their questions or concerns.
Those concerns change with the season.
Warmer weather means kids will be out of school soon and there'll be more foot traffic.
And don't forget about those motorcycles.
"Watch out for the motorcycles. So often they hit a blind spot on us and you don't see them. If you are driving a bike, be aware of your surroundings. Remember that four wheels don't always see your two wheels," said Chief Elvins.
The city's drug takeback will be open all day on Saturday. The department does it twice a year.
You can bring in any over the counter or prescription drugs to the station's drop-off box.
RHINELANDER - People with developmental disorders can hear plenty of negatives when it comes to succeeding in school. That's why a Northwoods school offers a program to help these students prove the doubters wrong.
Nicolet College offers Jump! Start, which helps people with special needs go to college and prepare for the workforce.
College student Ashley Mathy has Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a condition listed on the autism spectrum.
As a high school senior, she was told she would never make it to college because she would fail.
"You're going to have failures. You're going to have people tell you that you can't do things all the time whether you have a disability or you don't have one. And you just have to prove them wrong because if you don't, then you'll just let failure take you away," said Mathy.
RHINELANDER - Nothing gets the competitive juices flowing like racing to fix a car's fuse box. Nicolet College in Rhinelander hosted 12 Northwoods high schools for some friendly competition with a specific goal in mind.
The competitions varied from auto skills to welding to even cupcake baking. The goal was for students to begin thinking about college.
"Getting to see the inner workings of a vehicle, getting to work and learn at the same time, it makes me think more about college and what I want to do with my future," said Crandon sophomore, Kegan Wilson.
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