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.
- A Nicolet College club provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and allies to socialize and discuss personal issues related to gender and sexual orientation.
However, outside of the campus, there is no supportive group in the Northwoods. Now, the Rainbow Hodags Club is helping to get a community LGBT group started. Club member Don Schindhelm says he wishes a club like this existed years ago.
"I really felt like I didn't know anyone else who was gay or lesbian. It was frowned upon, so I suppressed it for most of my life. That's why I struggled with it for so many years," said Schindhelm.
EAGLE RIVER - A lot of things need to go right to build a 40,000 square foot addition in just one year. Workers in Vilas County used a fairly mild winter to their advantage to work toward that goal.
Construction on the county courthouse's addition is both on budget and essentially on time. Crews have the drywall up on the second floor and are working to do the same on the first floor soon. Vilas County Clerk Dave Alleman says a rainy spring held some masonry work up, but it's nothing crews can't handle to stay on track.
"Very well disciplined," Alleman said of the workers. "They're working every day, things are being done on time. I think overall that makes for a good project."
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