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An elec­tronic demon­stration at last year’s Skilled Trades Career Explo­ration event. Courtesy | Annette Sands

The Eco­nomic Devel­opment Part­nership is increasing Hillsdale County’s youth awareness of skilled trades by hosting a Skilled Trades Career Explo­ration event on Feb. 26 from 6 to 8 p.m.

This free event is open to people of all ages who have an initial interest in skilled trades and will take place at the Litch­field Regional Training Center for the second year in a row. Addi­tionally, there will be a free taco bar at the event.

“What we really want to accom­plish is to introduce young people to the available skilled trades in the area,” Director of Litch­field Regional Training Center Bill Nobles said. “It mainly attracts stu­dents in seventh through 12th grade, but it goes beyond that for recent grad­uates and people who might want a career change.”

Litch­field Regional Training Center will be opening its doors to show vis­itors the advanced tech­nical man­u­fac­turing training that it offers and meet the program instructors. 

Vis­itors will be able to par­tic­ipate in hands-on demon­stra­tions such as welding and robotics. Addi­tionally, several com­panies will be at the event to rep­resent other trades, including healthcare, car­pentry, and pro­gramming.

Pres­ident of Hillsdale Ter­minal John Condon said he will be pre­senting demon­stra­tions on pro­gramming machinery, drawing equipment, designing software, and other elec­trical and mechanical skills. 

“There’s a lot of oppor­tunity for stu­dents in today’s world to have a good high-paying job with skilled trades, so we want to show stu­dents what their options are,” Condon said.

Annette Sands at EDP said many pro­fes­sionals are retiring from these trades, so those hosting the event are hoping to “reignite the field with younger people.”

“Overall, there is a lack of skilled trades across the country,” Sands said. “We are heavily encour­aging the schools to par­tic­ipate so stu­dents can learn about available careers. 

To reg­ister for this event, one can call (517) 437‑3200 or visit https://www.hillsdaleedp.org/2020c.