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Eighth-graders learn about trades at Helena College

Young students learn about trades at Helena College
Posted at 9:12 AM, May 18, 2024

HELENA — Dozens of students participated in the Helena WINS Construction and Trades Day at Helena College.

As part of the Helena WINS initiative, 8th-graders from throughout the area had the chance to learn more about the trades on Friday.

The students traveled from station to station where various businesses such as Dick Anderson Construction, TDS, Helena Sand and Gravel, and more were set up.

“We really wanted to target 8th graders, especially thinking about what they want to do for their careers, or even just choosing classes for high school. If hands-on is something that they're interested in, these industries are great for that. They're also growing rapidly in the Helena area, especially with the growth that we've been having in our community. And we really just want to highlight that there are some awesome employers and awesome opportunities right here in Helena,” says McKinley Winkle, Vice-President of the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce.

Tyson Lucas, Recruiting Program Manager with RDO Equipment Co. says that joining a trade can be a great way for these students to get involved in their community once they get out of school. The jobs are in demand in Montana, pay good wages, and many of the trades can be learned through on-the-job training.

“Put’s them right out to the community, puts them into the workforce, lets them have a career path that they can build on for a long time. And that in turn helps the community by providing more for the community itself,” says Lucas.

Amelia Stopher, an 8th grader, says she’s considering a career as a pilot, a mechanic, or in sports med. She says she enjoys manual labor and working with her hands and enjoys the feeling of starting from nothing and ending up with something.

“It feels really accomplishing like I did something,” says Stopher.

Saturday the event is open to the public for those who may be interested in the various trades.