Career Expo Showcases Health, Tech & Trades Industries To Students

By: Mackenzie Ste. Marie, Communication Intern

Every year high school students get an inside, hands-on experience in health, technology and trades careers. Nov. 30 was the 15th annual Health, Tech & Trades Career Expo where over 3,000 students, from 42 schools were able to interact with over 50 businesses throughout the area. In addition to connecting with businesses on the Fargodome floor, students participated in breakout sessions where they learned about star formation in a geodome, created a computer game using Scratch programming language, learned about DNA, participated in engineering challenges about the benefits of recycling, and how to design a truss system.

Student practicing wearing a harness while walking on a beam

The Health, Tech & Trades Career Expo is beneficial for the students participating, but also for the businesses, as representatives talk more about their industry, what they love about it, and discuss any possible schooling that comes along with it.

Scott Wirth, Roers Construction, attended the expo for the second year and has had an impactful experience so far. “Getting students interested in two-year construction programs in college is so important for our industry. It’s important for them to know that you don’t need a four-year degree to get a job. Also, explaining to them the different ways they can get involved throughout the community, is something I like to talk about,” he says.

Paul Finn, Red River Electric, Inc., has been going to the Heath, Tech & Trades Career Expo for the past six years. “Educating students that they don’t need a four-year college degree to get into the industry is the most rewarding part of coming to the expo,” he says.

HBA of F-M and Home Builders Care of F-M Foundation were platinum sponsors of the event.

This year the HBA of F-M promoted the Herdina Academy for the Construction Trades, and had three interactive stations. Students could use an electric screw driver to fasten screws into a board, cut out shapes with a jig saw and use an extended auto-feed screw gun to fasten floor boards together. After students participated in the activities, they were placed in a drawing for a DeWalt radio sponsored by ACME Tools, and received more information about the Herdina Academy for the Construction Trades.

Students using the auto-feed screw driver to fasten floor board together
Student using a jig saw to cut out shapes


The Herdina Academy for the Construction Trades is a two-week course for high school students to experience the construction industry. Students spend time building sheds, exploring career opportunities and working side-by-side with contractors. The course is open to North Dakota and Minnesota high school students ages 15 and older. The 2018 Trades Academy is June 4-15 at Minnesota State Community and Technical College. Each attendee has the option of three college credits. Students work with industry professionals in specialized fields and are supervised by qualified high school instructors. 2018 will be the Academy’s 21st year.

Exhibitors who worked together at the Health Tech & Trade Industry Career Expo

Camrud-Foss Concrete Construction Inc., Toby Christensen and Scott Persoon

Opatril Concrete Construction, Inc., Mike Stotts, Tylor Farsdale and Zak Farsdale

Members that participated in the Health Tech & Trade Industry Career Expo

Border States Electric Lighting Solution Center

Butler Machinery Company

Camrud-Foss Concrete Construction Inc.

Cass County Electric Cooperative

Grant’s Mechanical, Inc.

Integrity Windows & Doors/Tecton Products

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Opatril Concrete Construction, Inc.

RDO Equipment

Red River Electric, Inc.

Roers Construction Company LLC

Members that helped in the booth

Dave Anderson, Dave Anderson Construction

Casey Beckerleg, Stenerson Lumber

Mark Grandberg, Dakota Construction of Fargo, Inc.

Darrick Guthmiller, Kochmann Brothers Homes, Inc.

Monica Hart, Monica Hart Interior Design, Inc.

Aaron Kochmann, Kochmann Borthers Homes, Inc.

Trevor Odden, Stone Ridge Builders, Inc.

Tom Spaeth, Accent Contracting