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High School Students Explore Career Possibilities at UCC Trades Showcase

“How many of you want to become automotive technicians?” asked UCC automotive instructor, Doyle Poole, as a show of hands went up among 20 attentive high school students. In the automotive lab, Poole displayed a table of test devices where students could experiment with digital readouts identifying vehicle electrical problems.

On May 9, UCC hosted a Trades Showcase and Career Day featuring presentations and demonstrations from employers across Douglas County and hands-on experiences within UCC programs. The day’s events opened with a keynote speaker, Tony Ramm, the vice president of manufacturing at Roseburg Forest Products, who provided career insights for the region’s future workforce.

A plethora of 50 local employers filled the UCC gym and connected with over 200 high school students from Douglas County, as well as current UCC students. Across campus, career and technical education exhibits provided on-the-job information from UCC faculty and local businesses including Roseburg Forest Products, Addcox Heating Center, Smalley and Sons Construction, Crater Lake Electric, and Swanson Group.

A Roseburg Forest Products truck driver, Rusty Brown, opened the hood of a heavy-haul flatbed truck to show students how to conduct a pre-trip inspection and get a glimpse of truck driving in the wood products industry. “It’s an honor to drive down the road in one of these. I get to be in charge of 100 feet of a vehicle behind me. It’s a sweet, serene job,” said Brown.

Addcox Heating Center showed students how air-conditioning is installed, brazing of HVAC cooling lines, and oxidation within copper pipes.

UCC showcased programs such as welding, automotive, apprenticeship, engineering, mechatronics, computer information systems, truck driving, and the police reserve academy.

A truck simulator provided students with the chance to experience driving a semi-truck. With controls and a steering wheel from a real truck and mirrors reflecting a 360-degree view, students made turns, changed lanes, and avoided traffic as they drove across the Newport, Oregon bridge. After the simulator experience, students were offered a chance to sit inside the real over-the-road truck used for training in the UCC CDL program.

In Engineering, students watched how CAD software created 3D objects and connected with CNC machines to prototype models for manufacturing.

Current UCC students in the mechatronics program paired up with local high school students, sharing concepts they recently learned in automation programming and pneumatic systems.

UCC students, staff, and local businesses were excited about the future possibilities that impact the local community. “The day’s events brought a lot of energy of future opportunity, and the high schoolers seemed inspired to work within their community. There was such variety: Orenco, firefighters, thesheriff’s office, and even a forklift simulator,” said Andrew Sexauer, Spanish club president, and UCC business student.

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