College of Technology

Your Future in Technology

Participants


Idaho National Laboratory
4CASI
Agrium
Bannock County Commission
Bannock Development Corporation
Bear Lake County Commission
City of Chubbuck
Great Rift Business Development
Idaho Department of Labor
Idaho Power
ISU College of Technology
J.R. Simplot Company
Monsanto
Old Town Pocatello
Petersen’s Corporation
City of Pocatello
Williams Corporation

Your Future in Technology, or YourFIT, is an exciting new career fair concept launched in the spring with funding from the Idaho National Laboratory, and sustained by the combined efforts of over twenty collaborators throughout southeastern Idaho. The new career fair concept was conceived by regional employers who haven’t been able to find qualified applicants to fill technical positions. This demand for technicians is expected to grow, and the College of Technology is in a prime position to serve both students and industry. High school youth are looking for careers that pay well and offer good benefits, but many of them simply don’t know about technical education and the excellent technical careers available in Idaho.

A career survey conducted in January of area high school students from seven counties confirmed students are unaware of technical career paths. Of the high school students surveyed, 96 percent had little or no knowledge of high paying, high demand technical careers, and not surprisingly, they had little or no interest in pursuing these careers. “Outcomes from the thousands of surveys taken by Southeast Idaho high school students bear out the fact that young Idahoans are unaware of the amazing lifelong careers available to them with only a two year investment in college,” said R. Scott Rasmussen, Dean of the College of Technology.

Representatives of the various organizations traveled to seven area high schools – one per week - to host a first-of-its-kind career expo and invite regional schools to participate. YourFIT events reached over 2,000 high school students and their families. All of the events were held in the evening to encourage the participation of both students and their families. College of Technology programs and instructors were available to discuss educational opportunities with event attendees. Likewise, employers stood ready to talk about skilled technician positions within their companies, and recent graduates of technical programs were invited to speak about their meaningul careers.

High school students at each event were also given an opportunnity to earn scholarships to attend the College of Technology. In the end, 14 students were awarded $500 or $1,000 scholarships! Students were treated at each location to great door prizes including: tablets, small drones, and pizza.

Participating Schools


Aberdeen High School
American Falls High School
Bear Lake High School
Century High School
Grace High School
Highland High School
Malad High School
Marsh Valley High School
North Gem High School
Pocatello High School
Preston High School
Rockland School
Snake River High School
Soda Springs High School
Star Valley High School
Westside School

Each YourFIT event was fueled with energy and enthusiasm. “I was excited to see hundreds of rural Idaho high school students become interested in high-tech, high-demand, high-wage jobs. The YourFIT program has literally opened the door to amazing career opportunities for these students which will help create the much needed high-tech workforce of tomorrow,” said Rasmussen.

Phillips, Chairman of the Bannock Development Corporation, said, “We face an economic challenge, and that challenge really is to develop our work force. Sometimes it’s hard to find enough people locally who can fill those jobs.”

Stephanie Cook, the program manager for economic and workforce development at Idaho National Laboratory (INL), wrote about YourFIT and emphasized that not all INL positions could be filled with people with advanced degrees wearing white lab coats. “INL also needs skilled technicians who run our equipment and talented mechanics that maintain it and make repairs when breakdowns occur. Some of the students influenced by this effort will someday fill needed positions at the Lab.”

Cook continued by writing that educators, industry leaders, economic development specialists, and government officials understand the opportunities available to students in the region and are to be commended for pursuing an Idaho solution to one of the state’s most pressing challenges. The YourFit events will hopefully be the first of many in the years to come.

 

IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY

921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209