By Frank Stanko
North Dakota State College of Science’s Wahpeton campus hosted high schoolers interested in auto and diesel careers Thursday, April 14. The event was sponsored by the partnership of NDSCS and the North Dakota Automobile and Implement Dealers Associations.
A highlight of the day was the chance to test-drive farm equipment around NDSCS’ Bisek Hall under the supervision of professionals. Visitors also experienced a typical day in the life of a technician and received expert advice from those in the auto and diesel industries.
“It drives way smoother than I expected,” Evan Jones, a high school senior from St. Francis, Minnesota, said after test driving a Case IH tractor. Jones plans on attending NDSCS for studying diesel technology.
Cody Devogt, a second-year diesel technology student at NDSCS, supervised Jones. He said today’s equipment is simple, just like driving a car.
“With the John Deere tractor, it’s easier to work with,” said Greg Wourm, a high school senior from St. Michael, Minnesota. “I could see it performing a lot better in the field.”
No matter what equipment preference students have, the bottom line of the day was business and industry. Jim Johnson, NDSCS’ Twin Cities enrollment services specialist, organized the bus trip that brought students on campus.
“It’s very possible that a student who attends today is going to be talking to his or her future employer and doesn’t even know it,” he said.
Visitors came from as far as the Twin Cities, Minnesota, metropolitan area and from Grand Forks, North Dakota, he added. Their day included not only observing the programs available at NDSCS, but attending a career fair devoted to the auto and diesel industries.
“This is our inaugural flight, so to speak and so far, we are having a wonderful day. There’s a lot of smiles, a lot of questions, a lot of fun being had. That’s the whole idea, developing relationships and uncovering the spark within some of these kids to take them to the next step,” Johnson said.
For Matthew Larsgaard, manager of the North Dakota Automobile and Implement Dealers Associations, Thursday’s event was another example of the multi-level partnership between the association and NDSCS.
“The level of training and experience that today’s young people are gaining here at the school has really benefited North Dakota’s dealerships and the citizens of the state,” he said.
Larsgaard is optimistic the visitors understood the amount of career opportunities in North Dakota’s automobile and farm equipment dealerships.
“If an individual is willing to work hard and gain the experience necessary to learn the trade, they can have a long career that’s very rewarding from both a fulfilling standpoint and a monetary one as well,” he said.
Department: Diesel Technology
Department: Automotive Technology
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