The Alliance’s new program SHIFT aims to raise awareness of professional trades careers
Iron Mountain, Mich., (September 30, 2022) – The Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance joins Bay College West, the Dickinson-Iron ISD Tech Center, Michigan Works, and local manufacturers in marking Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 7. The event brings together ninth-grade students from area schools to interact with local manufacturers to learn about careers in the professional trades.
“After two years of virtual Manufacturing Day activities, we are thrilled to be meeting in person again at Bay College West,” remarked Lois Ellis, director of The Alliance. “We expect 300 students from Kingsford, Iron Mountain, North Dickinson, Niagara and Norway to be in attendance.”
This event is the first under The Alliance’s new SHIFT Professional Trades Careers program. The SHIFT program’s purpose is to raise awareness of the available career paths in the professional trades that are available to individuals upon graduation from high school.
“Our goal with SHIFT is to not only raise awareness of the outstanding opportunities at area employers but also to help students understand that they can have a successful career without attending a four-year university,” shared Ellis. “Those working in the professional trades play a crucial role in the health of our local economy. We need to shift perspectives about what a successful career looks like after high school graduation.”
Manufacturing Day is one opportunity for students to explore working in the professional trades. Students will also have an opportunity to learn about the available educational paths through the Dickinson-Iron ISD Tech Center and Bay College to earn while they learn.
More information about SHIFT and facts about professional trades careers are available at www.daeda.org/shift.
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.
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”
Iron Mountain, Michigan (October 1, 2021) The Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance joins Bay College West, Northern Initiatives-MMTC, DIISD, Michigan Works, and local manufacturers in marking Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 1, and celebrating the entire month of October.
The goal of Manufacturing Day is to raise awareness about skilled trade careers in manufacturing. Heavy Metal Tours is the Dickinson Area’s take on the annual event. Heavy Metal Tours collaborative gives high school freshmen exposure to area manufacturers to learn more about local trade careers and how they can be part of closing the skills gap within the local industry.
“We are once again extending Manufacturing Day and observing it the entire month with an interactive game that schools can administer in the classroom,” said Lois Ellis, DAEDA executive director. “Although we cannot meet in-person, we see it as an opportunity to reach more students with this information on career paths through the DIISD Tech Center and Bay College West.”
Local manufacturers participating in Heavy Metal Tours/Manufacturing Day are BOSS Snowplow, CCI Systems, Enbridge, Lake Shore Systems, MJ Electric, Systems Control, and Verso. High school freshmen and parents of high school freshmen are invited to learn more at www.heavymetaltours.com and follow the Heavy Metal Tours social channels where facts about working in manufacturing will be shared.
The Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance (the Alliance) is a private-public partnership in the Dickinson County, Michigan area, whose mission is to spearhead collaboration, awareness, and outreach to employers, educators and residents in order to spur further development of the greater Dickinson County Area.
About Heavy Metal Tours
Heavy Metal Tours is a collaboration between DAEDA, Bay College, Northern Initiatives-MMTC, the Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District, and Michigan Works! It exists to educate students, parents, and school personnel about career opportunities in the trades at local Dickinson County manufacturers.