Iron Range students learn trade skills through Construct Tomorro - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Iron Range students learn trade skills through Construct Tomorrow

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The Iron Range was built by the hands of its skilled trade workforce, but those in that workforce say they're starting to age out.

So whether it's done virtually, or the old fashioned way rural workforce coordinator Heath Boe said the Range simply needs to train more people so they're up for the job.

"The need is actually growing for these construction trades here on the Range," he said. "That workforce is getting older, retiring."

So, through the second annual Construct Tomorrow event, Boe and a dozen different trade unions are hoping to inspire high school students, like Aaron Collins, to take their place.

"I've thought about welding and Iron Working," Collins said.

Iron Workers apprenticeship and training coordinator Brian Nelson said these events are all about planting that seed in these students' minds, through hands-on experience.

"We have to find our workforce somewhere, and they're coming from Construct Tomorrow," he said.

So his booth set up an interactive construction beam to replicate some of the on-site demands.

Obviously, he said they can't replicate the height and weather conditions workers would face during construction but Nelson said they can show quite a bit.

"It displays our fall protection that we use everyday on the job site," he said.

With more than 450 high school students from across the Range coming out, Boe said it's a chance to show the opportunities in their own backyards.

"They don't need to go away for a four year degree they can learn here, train here and have a good job and have a family right here where they're growing up here on the Iron Range," he said

Even if for now, those students, are a work in progress. 

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