North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Students can experience job options


File Photo

Marysville-Pilchuck High School freshman Alejandra Campos gets to feel what firing a water hose from a fire engine feels like with help from North County Fire and EMS firefighter Stephen McCauley at the Snohomish County Labor Council's Trade Up event on June 2, 2016.

Local high school juniors and seniors are invited to the next Trade Up event in Arlington where they can gain hands-on experience and knowledge of various trades.

The event on April 4 will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Arlington Municipal Airport at 18204 59th Ave. NE, Arlington.

The Trade Up event is completely free.

The event is sponsored by the Snohomish County Labor Council and Workforce Snohomish to help local students learn about the jobs available to them.

"They gain a much better understanding of the jobs that are out there and how to get those jobs," said Leonard Kelley, secretary treasurer of the Snohomish County Labor Council and the mayor of Stanwood.

Numerous local trade companies and unions come out to help give demonstrations about their trade, said Kelley.

This has included businesses like local sand and gravel companies, Community Transit, UPS, and area fire departments, he said.

Groups of kids will move from one company to the next throughout the event.

"High school juniors and seniors get to move in small groups from trader to trader," said Kelley, and they spend about half an hour with each.

Most stops contain some interactive demonstrations which include things like simulated crane practices to shooting a fire hose.

At each stop they can learn background information about each of the jobs, including the pay scale "and how to get into that field if they are interested," said Kelley.

The event will also help students on some of the basic soft skills of employment, like filling out a time card.

"We've heard from a lot of companies that many new hires don't have those soft skills," said Kelley.

At the end of the event, students who participated will receive a $20 gift card.

Workforce Snohomish and the Snohomish County Labor Council have been holding Trade Up events through the county for about a year and a half now.

"I sit through a lot of meetings about the area," as the mayor of Stanwood and being on the labor council, said Kelley. "Growth is coming to the area and a workforce is needed," he said.

Kelley said he learned that "organized labor has some great apprenticeship opportunities that most people don't know about," and these events are meant to connect students with those options.

He said that the adult volunteers also say the program is good and that "they wish they had something like this when they were kids."

For more information about the next Trade Up event in Arlington go to


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