Spokane Regional Plan Center Partners with NEWTECH 8th Grade Career Day

At the end of April, NEWTECH Skill Center and Spokane Public Schools hosted 8th Grade Career Day, in partnership with the Spokane Regional Plan Center.  The Welding and Construction Technology programs were able to put “Careers in the Trades” on display with the following SPRC members: Anderson Masonry, Bouten Construction, Central Pre-Mix, Kilgore TEC Products, Star Rentals, and Summit Electric.

Close to 900 students from the Sacajawea, Pride Prep, Montessori, Shaw, Glover, Bryant, Salk and Garry middle schools attended this event. Students had the opportunity to explore heavy equipment such as a Class 7 Forklift, a cement truck and scissor lifts. In addition, they were able to speak to industry professionals about the extensive career opportunities available with the different trades in Eastern Washington. Anderson Masonry, Bouten Construction and Central Pre-Mix also provided hats, t-shirts, pens and stick-on tattoos (a crowd favorite!) to remind students periodically about their learning experience on 8th Grade Career Day. The goal of this event was to spark interest in trade careers, so during high school, students will sign up for the NEWTECH Welding or Construction programs to explore these career opportunities further.

SPRC and NEWTECH Skill Center have generated a partnership to ensure that industry and education are connected to promote skilled trade career options that will begin to fill the labor shortage that Eastern Washington is currently experiencing. Now and in the coming school year, SPRC members are invited to be a guest speaker, provide skill labs and worksite visits in an effort to meet the goal of producing young prospective employees who have obtained the relative skills needed to be hired with SPRC companies.

During the 2017-2018 school year, the working relationship between SPRC and NEWTECH has created positive outcomes for our junior level students and graduating seniors. The SPRC executive board granted the Construction and Welding Technology programs with $500 that was used to pay for OSHA 10 and CPR/First Aid certifications for all enrolled students. In addition, Mike Kilgore, of Kilgore Tec Products assisted in connecting NEWTECH with equipment and a trainer who provided forklift training and certifications for all construction students over the age of 18. The result of the effort put forth by SPRC members is that students are now gaining summer internships with the Associated General Contractors and submitting their applications with local apprenticeships, garnering interviews for entrance.

NEWTECH Skill Center Construction and Welding Technology programs are specifically designed to educate students on tools, process and project implementation for residential and commercial construction. The program applies employability skill training, certifications and career exploration to the curriculum to give students the ability to examine their post-secondary options, giving them the ability to confidently choose a trade that will provide them with a successful and lucrative career path.

We need our members to support our new Workforce Development Program so that we can make an impact promoting the trades as a career.  If you are interested in this program, contact Rita Heldenbrand at SRPC   If you would like work with NEWTECH Skill Center for the 2018-2019 school year, please contact the Career and Pre-Apprenticeship Coordinator, Suzanne Gretch at (509) 496-7684 or at