Breadth of Careers within Industry

When we think of trade skills, most of us think:’ plumbers, carpenters, welder’ and while that is correct, skilled trades cover a much broader range of careers.  Consider everything that goes into building a house. We see the carpenter that uses the nail gun, but we often do not see the person who engineers the

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National Kid Inventor Day

The future belongs to the youth. Our goal is to engage curious minds of all ages. Did you know kids invented (or at least thought of) these items: Swimming flippers, popsicles, earmuffs, the braille system, trampolines, water skiing, and snowmobiles just to name a few.  If your child shows passion for hands-on learning, visit bigideasusa.org/students

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Blue Collar White Collar

The terms blue-collar and white-collar appeared first in 1920 to distinguish workers based on the color of the shirts they wore  White-collar jobs are more corporate and managerial, while blue-collar jobs are often non-management but actual physical labor type of jobs  There is purple, yellow, and pink collars as well. 

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Technology Day with Big Ideas!

National Technology Day on January 6th recognizes how technology changes the world and looks to the future of technology. With Big Ideas, Inc we understand the importance of technology. During the pandemic, we shifted our model from in-person classes to Virtual Reality and augmented reality training. The idea became so popular that we decided to take

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2021 Recap

WOW, what a year 2021 was! 2021 was another year filled with ups and downs for everyone. It was no exception for us at Big Ideas. We started the year with in-person classes. We had a few successful months, then we decided to take learning down a different path… We started adapting the last technology into

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What are skilled trades?

Skilled trades are not just plumber cracks and Albert Einstein hair, there are so many different career opportunities. All though skilled trades are defined as “any occupation that requires a particular skill set, knowledge, or ability” there is opportunities from the back office to the job site that are hourly and salaried positions that can support you and your family. There are ten career pathways within plumbing

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2021 Trailer Recap

It was a successful year for our Mobile Learning Lab. With over 37 stops and 8,000 miles, we carried on our mission of providing trades career opportunities. As we continue to grow, we look forward to being in even more communities and hope to build our presence throughout the US. If you are interested in

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Instructor Spotlight : Heidi Watson

Occupation: Customs Car shop owner Why do you work with Big Idea’s? I work with Big Ideas because I see a definite push for all High school students to go to 4-year schools. College is not for everyone; college dropout rates show this. If more information were provided to students and adults about working in

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Instructor Spotlight: Justin Wulf

Occupation: Business Owner, Master Pipefitter, Welder, Fabricator I work with Big Ideas to promote trades to bright young minds that could be successful in any career path. Trades are lacking people that have skills, creativity, and the desire to excel. While most people look down on trades as an alternative for the kids that aren’t college material,

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Instructor Spotlight: Rick Louwagie

Occupation: Infrared thermographer/Electronics Technician/Electrician Why did you get started with the trades? I have always had a passion for electronics and all things electrical since I was a young kid. Getting the opportunity to go to a trade school and becoming an electronics technician was the greatest path to follow and build my career in

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Big Ideas Heads North!

It’s a big week for Big Ideas! Our trailer is making 7 different stops in Northern Minnesota. If you want your school or business added to our next trip, visit bigideasusa.org/contact

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“A black and yellow truck came to Park Rapids”

A black and yellow truck came to Park Rapids on Tuesday, Nov. 2, bearing a new-fangled way to introduce career seekers to old-school trades. Illustrating the bright idea on the side of the trailer was a big light bulb with a hammer at the center. It’s the logo of Big Ideas, a New Ulm-based organization

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Big Ideas Receives CliftonLarsonAllen Donation

Article from New Ulm Journal NEW ULM — Big Ideas, a New Ulm non-profit group that creates classes to expose student to the building trades, was the recipient of a CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) Foundation award of $15,000. Local CLA staff were given a tour of the Big Ideas office and classrooms on South Minnesota Street, Tuesday

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Instructor Spotlight: Richard Shaffer

Small Business Owner / Entrepreneur Owner/Operator of a small trade school in Northern MN. Working with Big Ideas to encourage more young people to consider the trades as a profession. Skilled trades people are in high demand in Northern MN as well as nationwide. Also, leveraging my marketing experience and connections to promote Big Ideas

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Big Ideas at the State Fair!

Have you ever seen inside our Mobile Learning Lab? It’s open now at the Minnesota State Fair. Try augmented welding, industrial painting, CAT simulator and more!

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Instructor Spotlight: Myron Wieland

Occupation: Retired Municipal Employee Why do you work with Big Ideas?  I enjoy meeting middle school-aged children and exposing them to basic plumbing.  These young adults need exposure to the different building trades in order to foster a potential interest. Why do you love the trades?  I personally get a strong sense of accomplishment from

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Instructor Spotlight : Arco Horton

Occupation: fabricator/welder Why do you work with Big Idea’s? I love teaching my skills to kids and adults who are excited to learn. What is your best experience in Skilled Trades? As a welder I think it’s amazing to build a car completely by hand and watching it go from sheets of steel to a

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