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Students Schooled on Careers in NDT and Manufacturing
Current worker shortages nationwide have begun changing community conversations about the future of the next generation and the value of trade-based occupations, according to Kate Lufkin with the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce. On Wednesday, Flathead High School sophomores, juniors and seniors got the opportunity to explore some of those trades through hands-on learning with professors at Flathead Valley Community College and tours of local businesses.

Dubbed "Pursuing the Trades," the event, organized by Lufkin, Mike Kelly of the Flathead High School Career Center and the Occupational Trades Department at FVCC, offered an educational first look at some potential careers for the students selected to attend.

"I dare you to look around and find something that wasnít manufactured," Lufkin said. "You canít do it. Everything has to be made and somebody has to make it."

Todayís job market, according to Lufkin, supports seven trade jobs for every one position that requires a masterís degree.

The majority of the students in attendance, according to Lufkin, expressed little to no interest in pursuing a college career, but show aptitude and interest in more vocational skills.

FVCC offered a unique opportunity for those students to learn about some of the training, equipment and real-life applications for trades such as welding, heavy equipment operation and electrical work...

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