WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 28, 2010, 10:20 AM

Students jump start their careers with hands on course at MSCTC

Fergus Falls, Minn. (WDAY TV) - A handful of kids is getting a jump start on their career. MSCTC in Fergus Falls is offering a two week course for high schoolers, teaching hands on manufacturing skills. The students are on their third day in class and they're quick studies.

15-year old Nathanael Stephens hasn't spent much time in the workshop, but already he's come a long way on this metal dice. It's one of the projects he'll weld together during this two week manufacturing course.

“I like working with my hands and everything and making stuff, ever since Legos.”

Nathanael wants to be an engineer and welding is a big part of a manufacturing engineers' job description. So it's important he understands the concept.

“Takes practice basically, once you get the hang of it.”

One of Nathanael's classmates is Connor Gease. He'll be a senior this year and is hoping these courses give him a jumpstart in the real world.

“Mostly now, it's computers and some form of manufacturing, so I'm trying to find something in there.”

In addition to time in the classroom and hands on training, students also have the opportunity to tour professional manufacturing sites in the area. These visits show students how they would put their skills to work. Course instructor Mark Trego says it's important to get the word out about the broad job market in manufacturing.

“Especially with the retirement of a lot of baby boomers, there'll be a huge void in manufacturing, especially in skilled labor.”

Meaning more jobs up for grabs, good news for these students who will soon have the skills and tools to claim them. Students will tour manufacturing sites in Fargo-Moorhead next week.