Area students to gain insight from manufacturers about professional trades careers on October 6 during Manufacturing Day at Bay College West

Manufacturing Day brings together ninth-grade students from area schools to interact with local manufacturers and learn about professional trade careers.

“Our goal in bringing together students and area employers is to shift perceptions about what it means to work in the professional trades upon graduating high school,” shared Lois Ellis, director of the Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance (The Alliance). “We expect 300 students from Kingsford, Iron Mountain, North Dickinson, Niagara and Norway to be in attendance.”

Manufacturing Day is a national program by The Manufacturing Institute to engage students, parents, educators, and community partners to raise awareness of manufacturers’ vital role in many communities and states across the United States.

Locally, The Alliance, Bay College West, Dickinson-Iron ISD Tech Center, Michigan Works, and local manufacturers are leading the charge to raise awareness of all the possibilities for high-quality manufacturing careers with students and parents in the Dickinson area.

“Those working in the professional trades play a crucial role in the health of our local economy. We need to shift perspectives about what successful careers look like,” remarked Ellis.

Manufacturing Day is one opportunity for students to explore working in the professional trades. Students will also learn about the dual enrollment educational paths through the Dickinson-Iron ISD Tech Center and Bay College.

For more information and facts about professional trades careers, visit

SHIFT: Next-Level Career Magazine 2023

2023 Skilled Trade Career Paths Magazine

The Dickinson County Talent & Education Taskforce is excited to release this year’s Next-Level Career Magazine! With the hope of reaching future professionals within and outside of Dickinson County, this magazine was designed for students, teachers, educators, and anyone interested in pursuing a career-oriented future.

Learn about the different career paths, programs, and value career and technical education bring as you scroll through this publication. The 2023 Next-Level Career Magazine will touch on programs from DIISD and Bay College West, as well as provide you with the knowledge of post-education professional opportunities and experiences from local students.

If you’re interested in learning more about Skilled Trade Career Paths, contact Lois Ellis, Executive Director of the DAEDA.

Investor Highlight Series: Breitung Township Schools

Breitung Township Schools (BTS) was founded in 1925 and was initially comprised of several local neighborhood schools. In the early 1920s, the construction phase of the schools was described as a ‘splendid cooperation’ within the community. The current Kingsford High School was completed in 1964 with several changes since, while Woodland Elementary and Kingsford Middle School construction were completed in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The current Flivver Field is home to the football field, track and tennis courts. The outdoor athletic facilities renovation was part of the Kingsford Middle School construction.

BTS services more than 2000 children from childcare for toddlers through high school graduation and offers many curricular, co-curricular and extracurricular programming. Our school mascot is likely the most unusual thing about our district, according to those unfamiliar with our community’s history. The “Kingsford Flivver” is a car modeled after the 1923 Model T Ford.  It connects our school to the community’s history as one of the first factories built by Henry Ford, which makes students, staff members, and alumni proud to be Flivvers.

Some of the greatest challenges have been exceptional growth opportunities. As our school population continues to grow, we’ve had to adapt our plan to account for growth. Our community has been very supportive by providing the necessary funding to build and maintain exceptional school facilities through a bond in 2011 and a sinking fund in 2017. Staffing is difficult for all schools; however, we have been fortunate to hire exceptional staff members who want to be associated with and part of BTS. Prospective staff members learn about our school district through mock interviews, job fairs, advertising and our social media presence. We are competitive when attracting new staff members and have adjusted the salary schedules to be competitive with other industries and school districts.

Dickinson County and, more specifically, the Breitung Township School District residents have been excellent supporters of the schools. There has always been and continues to be a great deal of support for the school facilities, co-curricular programs and extracurricular activities. Additionally, schools in the area tend to be the hub of activities, with multiple community groups using the facilities for events like craft shows, art shows, community concerts, and youth sporting events/camps.

One thing that is somewhat unique to our area and school district is that Breitung Township Schools and Iron Mountain Public Schools cooperate to maintain a robust community schools program. Iron Mountain-Kingsford Community Schools program provides exceptional service to the area by providing multiple youth and adult recreation opportunities, alternative education, GED programming, and adult education.

Breitung Township Schools maintains a comprehensive PK-12 education program. In addition to the traditional curriculum, BTS offers a wide variety of special programs and enrichment opportunities, including six AP classes as well as very strong Music, Art, Physical Education and elective programs at all levels.

Over the past several years, Breitung Township Schools has implemented a STEM education program. This initiative is true to the heritage of Dickinson County and is supportive of the strong local manufacturing economy. Local businesses have been very active in this initiative through participation in the annual Woodland Elementary School STEM Education Night and District Robotics competitions held at Kingsford Middle School. Traditional courses also incorporate STEM concepts as well, and there is a strong connection with the Dickinson-Iron Technical Education Center.

In addition, all of the traditional openings of school activities and fall extracurricular events will be taking place soon. The fall of 2022 will bring great excitement to BTS with many improvements to our facilities. Such improvements include:

  • KMS blue gym renovation to be completed
  • KHS multipurpose room to be completed
  • KHS band room to be renovated to add new storage
  • KHS auditorium updates will be in progress

It’s an exciting time to be part of the Breitung Township Schools community.

By David Holmes, BTS Superintendent

2022 Next-Level Career & Technical Education Magazine

After months of planning and hard work, the Dickinson County Talent & Education Taskforce is excited to release this year’s Next-Level Career & Technical Education Magazine! With the hope of reaching future professionals within and outside of Dickinson County, this magazine was designed for students, teachers, educators, and anyone interested in pursuing a career-oriented future. Continue reading “2022 Next-Level Career & Technical Education Magazine”