Trade skills taught at summer camp

MARQUETTE — Move over band camp, there’s a new camp in town.

School was in session as the latest camp took over NMU. Not a lot of books but a lot of hands-on experience took place as these youngsters attended the “Continuing Education Workforce Development” summer camp at NMU. This small engine repair class, it’s no longer a mans’ world.

“Being the only girl here, it feels really good, you feel empowered. I am surrounded by a bunch of guys right now and I am not being discriminated against or anything. Girls can be mechanics too, there is nothing wrong with it, just don’t be afraid of getting dirty,” said Alexis Russell, East Jordan, MI.

More than 70 middle and high school kids participated in this four day summer camp.

Danielle Davis reports, “These students learned building, welding, cosmetology, culinary arts and CSI training.  Some were even fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from Goodwill.”

Future projections indicate that there will be a gap in jobs for people going into skilled labor.

Associate Director, JoLene Klumpp says “Continuing Education Workforce Development wants to get kids ready for what is happening for society and for the future.”

The hands-on summer camps were designed to be educational as well as fun.  And there aren’t many things that can compare with bike riding, but these young geniuses, find repairing a bike fun.

Ian Parkkonen says he likes the camp because, “I can’t drive a car yet and a bike is the fastest transportation to where I want to go. I found an old bike on the street and I would like to repair it and I like learning about the different parts that a bike has and what they can do.”

Along with teaching these kids a valuable trade, opening them up to possible future careers, NMU hopes that when these kids are ready to build their future, NMU will be at the top of their list of schools to consider.