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Trades school to continue hands-on learning

Now, skilled trades training centers, including the Millwright training center in Negaunee, are up and running once again.
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Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 3:51 PM EDT
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NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WLUC) -Hands-on education may look a little different this year. As schools focus on their plans for the upcoming school year, the skilled trades are working on how they can still give their students hands-on learning opportunities.

“We’re in operation in 6 training centers in the state of Michigan. All of those training centers are in strict safety procedures related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Michigan Carpenters and Millwrights State Director of Training, Tod Sandy.

Precautions include temperature checks and daily screenings. They want to make sure that it is safe for each person to be in the building.

“We shut down our training centers for 11 weeks,” said Sandy.

During this time they replaced the typical in-person experience with online lecture portions. Now, skilled trades training centers, including the Millwright training center in Negaunee, are up and running once again.

Their plans for the upcoming year include a return to the classroom. The centers still offer four-year carpenter and millwright programs while providing on site work experience.

“We’re operating as we were. I think maybe enrollment is a little bit down. Some people may have chosen not to come back,” said Sandy.

But according to Sandy, they are not stopping.

“We are still doing our intake, we have math classes and interview still going. And our contractors need people,” he said.

Many other hands-on learning centers for the trades, including the Dickinson-Iron Career & Technical Education Center do not have their plans set yet, as they are continuing to navigate the waters to see what is best for their students.

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