North Dakota High School Freshmen Attend Career Expo
It allows them to explore careers in health, tech and trade industries
FARGO, N.D. — As high school freshmen, a lot of these students don’t know where life may take them after graduation.
This interactive career expo allows them to envision future careers in health, tech and trade industries.
“A lot of the reactions are, ‘I didn’t know this was a possibility’ or ‘This is really cool.’ And then sometimes students are still trying to learn and they may just be in awe and may not know what to say, but hopefully if they can see and get their hands on something, they’ll have some questions,” says Denise Jonas with Cass County Career &Technical Education.
Jonas says there are 14,000 North Dakota jobs in these fields waiting to be filled, and roughly 5,000 of them are right here in Cass County.
“What we’re finding is there’s such a demand in this technical area that many of our students do not know about. And then our postsecondary institutions like M State and NDSCS and Thief River, their two-year programs are programs that our students aren’t always aware of,” she says.
“Some of the nursing stuff looks really cool. That opened my eyes to nursing,” Shanley High School 9th grader Lakin Geingle says.
For Geingle, who says she’s known since the 4th grade she’s wanted to be a veterinarian, this learning experience is still valuable.
“It’s a little crazy because there’s so much to do. It’s — I want to do all of it, but I can’t.”
These students get to quite literally “try on” future career options through different interactive activities.
“I did the fire truck thing. It was pretty fun, it was kind of hard to pull the thing,” she says.
“This is the only place that they can operate a crane safely. They can’t just walk into a construction site and say, ‘Hey, can I operate a crane? Like, total safety liability with that. But here is an opportunity that they do get some hands-on exposure to a lot of different career areas that they haven’t had experience with before,” says West Fargo Public Schools Career Adviser Penny Aipperspach.
They say one of the main goals of the expo is to dismantle gender stereotypes in these fields, promoting the idea that any student can work in whichever industry they enjoy, as long as they put in the work.