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.
MERRILL - As Linda DeBroux walks through Merrill High School, she can see the halls she helped create.
What started as plain, whitewashed walls now look like an art gallery. For each of the last 13 summers, DeBroux has guided a select group of her art students to create murals to fill the walls.
"When I walk down, I don't just see the painting, I see the student, right there, painting on that wall," she said Wednesday. "I think of all the struggles, the struggle points they had, and parts where they celebrated."
Murals by ten students this week will bring the total to 157 on school walls. Like it does every summer, it will take long days to accomplish the project.
RHINELANDER - Nicolet College offers incoming students a faster way to get through the hassle of the college application process.Wednesday's "Quick Start" day in Rhinelander gave students one-on-one attention with career coaches and college advisors.
Nicolet staff walked students through applications, assessments and financial aid to make sure they don't get overwhelmed.
Career coach Angeline von Neupert said "Quick Start" gives students and staff an opportunity to get to know each other.
"It's really neat to get to know the students individually and kind of walk them through the process. It's cool to come together as a team. We're usually scheduling them and then they come back and go back and forth," said von Neupert
Fall classes start in August. If students missed Quick Start day they can schedule a meeting with a Nicolet College advisor.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.