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NICC College and Career Connection hosts successful new High-Demand Skilled Trades event this week in Decorah

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Skilled trades event photo_newsDECORAH, Iowa—The NICC College and Career Connection, a member of the Iowa Intermediary Network, hosted the first High-Demand Skilled Trades event for local high school juniors and seniors last Tuesday, Feb. 15. Approximately 150 students from 15 school districts participated in the event at the Community Event Center at the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds.

Students learned more about high-demand skilled trades occupations and engage in hands-on activities in the skilled trades. Some large equipment, including a cement mixer and dump truck, were on-site for students to view in person. Participating businesses included JB Holland, Croell, Reilly Construction, Voltmer Electric, Decorah Electric, Casper Plumbing & Heating, Geo-Tech, West Union Trenching, Finholdt, Wicks Construction, Taylor Construction, Bodensteiner Implement and others.

“Employers, educators, and students all said the day was outstanding. The hands-on activities in skilled trades and networking with local employers was beneficial to all involved. Everyone is already talking about the High Demand Skilled Trades 2023 event, so we know it was a success!” said Gena Gesing, Northeast Iowa Community College Director of Career Services.

“Many thanks to partner JB Holland and NICC employees Stephanie Dennler, Holly O'Brien, Sara Hageman, Emily Creery and Christa Burgess for all helping so much to make the event so fantastic!”

High school educators who participated received positive feedback from students attending. “Back at school there all positive talk about the field trip this week. Students had a lot of educational fun and it was an awesome event,” expressed Paul Bakewell, South Winneshiek High School industrial technology teacher.

A representative from US Representative Ashley Hinson's office attended during lunch and talked with businesses during the afternoon session. College and Career Connection also hosted an event at Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. in Decorah on Feb. 15, with 17 students learning about hospitality and operations careers.

College and Career Connection at Northeast Iowa Community College is a program that exposes students to high-demand career areas and sets them on the pathway to career and educational success beyond high school. The program provides work-based learning opportunities for students in partnership with local businesses. For more information visit