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.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - On a busy stretch of Highway 47 near Lac du Flambeau -- where hundreds of wheels spin at 55 miles-per-hour each day -- just one tire drags at a slower pace, pulled by one man: the Tire Man.
"I guess I'm the only one nutty enough to do it, I suppose," Frank Tarantino said with a laugh.
Tarantino lives in Mercer, but trains for marathons in Lac du Flambeau. He started pulling a tire on a chain a few years ago after reading about it in a fitness magazine. People often stop to take his picture.
"Little by little you run a little further, a little further," Tarantino said.
RHINELANDER - Cancer survivors and supporters gathered at Ministry St. Mary's Hospital for the 10th annual Celebration of Life Thursday. The event honors those battling cancer or survivors of cancer and shows people what kinds of services the James Beck Cancer Center offers.
The center's namesake lost his life to cancer, but now others will be able to benefit from his gift to the hospital.
"With his vision and his dollars we were able to put this cancer center here in Rhinelander so patients don't have to travel to larger cities," said Director of Cancer Services Kimberly Hetland.
This year's speaker was Mike Regole, a survivor of tonsil cancer. He spoke about his experience at the center, how family and support affected his journey, and how he ran a business while having cancer.
SAYNER - A needle and thread means more to Pat Andersen than just sewing.
"I started quilting when I was 19 so it's been a passion of mine for a long time," said Pat.
Quilting gives her a community of ladies in the Northwoods.
"Sayner needs something like this, it needs something for the women to do," said Pat.
After moving to Sayner with her husband Don last spring, the two decided to buy the building that now houses Plum Lake Quilts. Pat needed somewhere to put her long arm machine and that eventually turned into a little retail business.
"I mean little and then it grew a little bit and it grew a little bit more," said Don Andersen.
MADISON - A $3 billion tax break bill for Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group is poised to pass the Wisconsin Assembly on a bipartisan vote.
Democratic state Rep. Cory Mason said during debate Thursday that he intends to vote for the bill. He is the first Democrat to publicly say he will back the measure that is being championed by Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republicans.
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