MARQUETTE — Career and Technical Education of Marquette and Alger County held their September meeting Wednesday afternoon where several topics were discussed, but one event that is right around the corner was also highlighted.

The 2019 Upper Peninsula Professional Trades Career Days, which is the largest hands–on career fair in the U.P., will be happening September 25th and 26th at the Marquette County Fairgrounds. Students from all over the Upper Peninsula will be visiting the fairgrounds to participate in the career days during school hours, where there will be several different vendors and exhibits there for students to get a feel for what those trades will include.

“The kids will all be able to take part in hands-on activities, they could be driving heavy equipment or climbing power poles” said Tony Retaskie, the Executive Director of the Upper Peninsula Construction Council. “There’s going to be something new this year, many more simulators than we’ve had in the past, where a student can try out a forklift or something in a simulation mode. And then there’s going to be the National Guard, who’s going to be there, and they have a lot of heavy equipment that they want to put on display for the students to see.”

One new feature of the Pro Trades Days this year will be the inclusion of an open session on the afternoon of the 25th for anyone that is not in high school that can come and experience the career fair as well.

“We are opening up to middle school students as well, and home school students who maybe didn’t get a chance to come during those high school sessions, and of course job-seekers as well,” said Jim Yates, the Career and Technical Education Consultant at the Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency. “So if anyone wants to come out there and check out what it might be like to be in those trades, they can come and talk with those hiring folks, and get their foot in the door maybe, and do some networking.”

Attendees of both the high school and open sessions will be required to wear long pants and closed shoes in order to participate in the activities at the fair, and hard hats and safety glasses can be provided.

Student sessions will be on both the 25th and the 26th, from  9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The open session will be on the 25th, from 2:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m., and it is free to attend.