Students Learn Skills and Make Mining Career Connections

By KBJR News 1

November 30, 2011 Updated Nov 30, 2011 at 7:59 PM CDT

EVELETH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)--Iron Range students met with officials in the mining industry on Wednesday and learned valuable information about the skills employers are looking for.

Students know making connections and lasting impressions are the keys to landing that first job.

"Getting out and getting to know people that are in charge of these companies," Alicia Sabetti, an industrial technology student at the Eveleth Mesabi Range Community and Technical College said. "Getting them to see your face, knowing your name so that when your application goes across their desk they remember you."

In order to make those lasting impressions, mining officials say students should work to develop the skill sets in school that prepare them to step into the field, ready to work.

"The men and women who built the taconite industry as it is now are ready to retire," Craig Pagel, President of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota said. "Over the next couple of years they will probably be leaving. But the other thing is, we have a lot of construction going on and expansion in the mining industry itself."

Desired hands-on skill sets include equipment knowledge, blue print reading, geometry and advanced math skills. But mining companies say they also look for students with strong soft skill sets, good ethical backgrounds and passionate, positive attitudes.

"Great positive attitude," Mitchel Robertson, President of TriTec said. "I can't stress that enough. Employers are looking for positive attitude, problem solvers, not problem creators."

Students had the chance to drop off resumes, fill out applications and discuss internships or future employment opportunities.

"This has helped a lot, they tell you what to learn, what you should know," Billy Pocrnich, a welding student said. "It helps for anyone going out into the workforce."

Students also had the chance to showcase their electronic career portfolios to potential employers.

Posted to the web: Jennifer Walch