64th North Star Expo Aims to get Students Interested in Logging Careers

Taylor Holt
September 15, 2017 09:43 PM

Friday morning, a group of nearly 100 Northland high schoolers learned logging is about more than big trucks and wheels.

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"Hearing from people who actually do that job everyday and their point of view is really cool," said Lindsey Bocht, a Sophomore at Chisholm High School.

"I really like the outdoors. My uncle is a forester," said Jillian Williams, also a Sophomore at Chisholm.

They are enrolled in the ALI program or Applied Learning Institute.

"It's a program designed to get kids that like to do things with their hands back into the skilled trades," said Bud Stone, President for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

The students were in the group that was brought to the expo thanks to a partnership between Expo officials and the Log a Load for kids organization.

Log a Load for kids is a national campaign where loggers give back to local children's hospitals. This year, they decided to bring local students to the event to learn about industry jobs from professionals.

"We want them (professionals) to get to talk to them about their careers and the jobs available in Northern Minnesota in the logging industry. We don't have to send our kids to Minneapolis to go to work. There are plenty of opportunities right here," said Bud Stone, President of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Ray Higgins with the Minnesota Timber Producers Association says that's one of the many reasons they have this great logging get together.

"It's an opportunity for vendors of logging equipment," said Higgins."You can see a lot of big equipment here; if you like big trucks, big trailers but also the big machinery that's used to manage the forest." 

Higgins says there's something at the expo for everyone. The hope is that the event can continue to be a learning experience, and possible career choice for future generations.

"I consider it more now that I've been here and talked to people and watch what they've done," said Williams.

"More than anything, we want to give them the exposure that gives them options in their life other than leaving Northern Minnesota," said Stone. 

Proceeds from the event will benefit Gillette Children's Healthcare in the Twin Cities.

The expo continues through Saturday afternoon.


Taylor Holt

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