Students learn trade skills at T4 summit

BOTTINEAU, N.D. (KXNET) — On Tuesday, more than 600 middle and high school students in North Dakota got a taste of working a trade at Dakota College in Bottineau’s T4 summit — a time to highlight the many opportunities T4 programs have to offer.

T4 stands for tools, trade, torque, and technology.

It is extremely similar to STEM, but instead of four years of classes, it’s two years but practicing skills in the trade field.

During the summit, students learned more about T4 jobs and their impact on the workforce.

“The T4 summit is for students to experience hands-on activities in several trades through apprenticeship programs,” said ND Energy Education’s Director Kent Ellis. “It helps them learn more about on-the-job training, industry-recognized certifications, and two-year technical degrees.”

Throughout the event, groups are scheduled to attend specific activities, ranging from puzzles to dissections and building projects.

Each student goes to four stations — each of which possesses an opportunity to learn more about a hands-on job and what it takes to do well.

“Some of the activities have a lot of precision agriculture,” Ellis mentioned. “Some may have more welding, or in the case of flying drones, some may have more in the area of EMT and Medical.”

The skills these kids are learning are driven by the energy industry, which is the state’s top supporter.

Ellis says energy plays a massive role in North Dakota, but that a major challenge the industry faces is finding more young people to come to work.

“The T4 summit is for students to experience hands-on activities in several trades through apprenticeship programs. It helps them learn more about on-the-job training, industry-recognized certifications, and two-year technical degrees.” 

-Kent Ellis
Director, ND Energy Education

ABOUT T4

T4 introduces students to workforce skills, needs, training and networking opportunities with industry leaders and technicians! 

How do we expect young people to dream if they don’t know what they can dream about?  Opportunities for industry career exploration give young people broader exposure to the working world they will one day enter.  It helps them “connect the dots” between school and career in ways that keep them motivated to learn the skills they will need for the future.

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