MASON CITY, Iowa – North Iowa Area Community College is hosting an industrial open house for giving students a chance to experience careers not often discussed in the classroom.
Whatever reasons they may have for getting involved in the ag and tech field, students like Kialey Uhde of West Fork are getting a chance to see what their futures could hold at this open house.
“I think that all careers in ag and mechanics are starting to grow for women and I just want to be a part of that,” said Kialey.
Kialey was one of very few women to attend today’s event but that didn’t stop her from taking part in as many tours as she could.
Students like Kialey are in high demand for positions where an aging population could leave much of the workforce vacant, and that’s something NIACC Division Chair Josh Byrnes hopes to discuss.
“They don’t know and so you talk to them about industrial maintenance you talk to them about PLCs. You start talking about all the technology that’s in these career fields now and they don’t know about these things. So yes we need to keep doing a better job of educating these students about these opportunities,” said Byrnes.
Students are getting the hands-on experience of what it takes to work in careers focused on everything from automotivs, to building trades, and it’s a good outlet for those still on the fence about their future college plans.
“Just going through high school and even through college, you change your courses so often. You’re not always for sure what you’re gonna be and coming to this can really set your mind on what you want to do,” said Uhde.
“We got to make sure that were backing that and exposing these younger students to these careers and these potential opportunities once that population is moving out,” said Byrnes.
According to a study by Creighton University, job growth in manufacturing throughout the Midwest is reaching all time high’s since the 2008 recession.
The report also surveyed plant managers who say they expect a raise of 2.5 percent in pay for their employees.