Forum to Explore Efforts to Engage Students in Our Local Trades Workforce


Industry, Schools and Key Partners Helping “Grow Our Own” and Succession Plan for Youth and Business 

There are true opportunities in a trades career, but do our young adults know enough to get involved? And, just who is right for a trades career, anyway? All across the country and right here in Central Oregon, the demand for more people in the skilled trades workforce is high, yet many positions go unfilled due to a lack of qualified applicants. Can Central Oregon “build” its way out of this by helping “grow our own” local skilled workforce?

There are many reasons to pursue a career in the trades — from well-paying compensation to long-term job security due to no outsourcing. With trade schools requiring shorter paths to graduation and being less costly than traditional colleges and universities, the trades are ready for a rebirth.

Come learn what the schools plan to do for Career & Technical Education (CTE) options to help build those skills for students and align with the needs of the industry. Find out how Heart of Oregon Corps is helping youth get connected to meaningful skills and employment with the trades. Ask the questions on your mind about how the Youth Career Connect program at the Bend Chamber and around the region will help actively support this “workforce succession” plan for our youth and our industries.

Two of our panelists chose the trades for a career and have become very successful. From picking up nails and sweeping floors to becoming the General Manager of a multi-million dollar company, Gary North of R&H Construction and Jeff Deswert of Kirby Nagelhout share their personal stories and the many reasons why pursuing a career in the trades can be significant and satisfying.

Along with Gary and Jeff, panelists include Laura Handy, Heart of Oregon Corps and Brook Rich, CTE/STEM Director, High Desert ESD. Plus, we’ll have testimony from former interns turned career persons in the trades.

Gary North, R&H Construction
Jeff Deswert, Kirby Nagelhout Construction Co.
Laura Handy, Heart of Oregon Corps
Brook Rich, CTE/STEM Director, High Desert ESD

Special Guests:
Shay Mikalson, Superintendent, Bend-La Pine Schools
Rosa Madrid, Intern, COCC Auto Program

David Haines, Bend Chamber Youth Career Connect Intern Coordinator
Jamie Christman, Bend Chamber EVP Community Affairs & Leadership Bend

What’s Brewing:  Elevating Our Trades Workforce
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Deschutes Brewery Public House, 1044 NW Bond St., downtown
Cost: Bend Chamber Members $15, Community $25 ($5 more at the door)
Special Student and Instructor Discounts (inquire with Bonnie, 541-382-3221)
Registration in advance is encouraged as seating is limited.


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