WAUSAU - It takes a lot more than a college degree to land a job these days. Students at Northcentral Technical College are learning how to "Hit Pay Dirt".
Job skills aren't the only thing employers are looking for. "Soft skills" are the small things that can give you an edge in an interview.
When competition gets fierce for a job opening and employers have many qualified candidates, leaving a strong impression in an interview can be key. Northcentral Technical College wants its grads to be prepared.
"A lot of the things we pointed out were subtle things. Students generally know how to dress, but there's a couple of things that need to be pointed out to them sometimes that can make or break an interview," says Shawn Sullivan, NTC Student Development Director.
Subtle things like dressing the part, but not overdoing it.
"You don't want to create any sort of attention to yourself that is unwarranted. You want to keep the focus on your qualifications," says Sullivan.
"One of the things he stressed was that a suit is not always the answer, and he's right about that," say Zeb Burkam, an IT Networking Student.
After an interview do's and don'ts fashion show students could go to an etiquette lunch. A formal business lunch isn't something a lot of fresh graduates have experience with.
"We certainly think the information is applicable across all the age groups of students that attend NTC. But absolutely we want to make sure because our younger students are coming out of high school and they haven't necessarily been out into the workforce and haven't had the life experiences some of our older learners have had," says Sullivan.
All helpful hints students say will give them more confidence going into that interview.
"Oh yeah it'll help me be more comfortable in an interview situation," says Burkam.
LAKE TOMAHAWK - All around you witness goodwill gestures. It could be as simple as a smile and wave or opening a door for someone. In Lake Tomahawk, it's making a pie.
"I made a pretzel crust with butter and sugar, " explains Sheila Punches. Sharon Hilgendorf adds, "Flour, for the thickening."
Snowshoe baseball's been entertaining crowds since the 1960's. But over at the concession stand, the pie takes center stage.
Strawberry rhubarb, banana butterscotch pie, blueberry pie, rocky road and coconut cream are just a few of the creations. "I like making ones that I think will appeal to the crowd," says Linda Penno.
Each week a different service club's in charge of the snack shack and in turn, takes home the proceeds. Locals bakers, a lot of local bakers make their best pies and donate them to support the cause.
"You get involved with it over the years and it just becomes your way of life on Mondays," says Punches.
On an average night they sell 80 pies. Each one is cut into six pieces and are only two dollars a slice. That means making almost a thousand dollars is easy as pie.
Ken Lochte of Rhinelander exclaims, "This is the only place you get your dessert first, before you get your food." "It's a great honor and pleasure and I've been doing it for quite a few years now," adds Rebecca Morien.
No matter how you slice it, everyone benefits from this unique fundraiser.
"It is unique and different which makes Lake Tomahawk special," says Morien. "It's a very good fundraiser for the community who in turn give it all back. So, it's kind of a domino effect you know," adds Hilgendorf.
If you think this is a lot of pies, the team is requesting the bakers provide double this Friday. They're hoping to have more than 200 pies for the Snowhawks game against the Wounded Warriors.
EAGLE RIVER - A new type of foundation could give you a better way to build a home, and the idea for the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods.
Composite Panel Systems in Eagle River builds composite panels for home foundations. Composite means anything made of two or more materials, which includes fiberglass in this case. The company describes the EPITOME Quality Foundation Wall as a revolutionary composite building solution for residential foundations.
The company makes them off site, and then they put them together on location. Composite Panel Systems' Scott Weber says that means a shorter build time compared to concrete foundations.
MADISON - Unemployment is up in all of Wisconsin's largest cities and most counties.
The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that unemployment rates in June increased in all of the state's 32 largest cities. Unemployment rates went up in 61 of 72 counties and remained unchanged in the other 11.
Wisconsin's monthly unemployment rate in June was 5.7 percent, unchanged from May.
CONOVER - The Chain Skimmers Water Ski Team from Conover won the state title for their division last weekend in Wisconsin Rapids. Summer water ski shows are a wonderful part of the Spirit of the North.
"I don't know how to spend the summer anywhere else," said Jessica Clark.
She is one of about 35 skiers between the ages of 12 and 31 who spend their summers on Lake Pleasant in Conover. They come from Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida and Texas.
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