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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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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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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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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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 : Megan Farrand

  Occupation: Auto Body Painter Why do you work with Big Idea’s? When I was in high school we did not have many opportunities to explore employment options outside of traditional college. I knew I wanted to work on cars but did not know what area outside of mechanics was available. This program would have

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Big Ideas Goes to Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s

We had a great time at Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s. Students had the opportunity to use augmented & virtual reality to learn: welding, painting, heavy equipment, and more! 8th grader: “This has made me realize I am good at welding. I think that might me what I want to do as a career.” 10th grader:

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Big Ideas hits Texas!

Last week, Big Ideas partnered with Girl with Grit, a Texas based nonprofit, to bring a welding course to the girls in the program. The course was taught by our instructor, Briana Huhn, and covered MIG welding basics along with plasma cutting. The girls were able to learn shop safety and fundamentals of MIG welding,

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Big Ideas Mobile Trailer at Cathedral School

Our Mobile Learning Trailer premiered at New Ulm Cathedral school this week! Students had the chance to try augmented virtual welding, paint simulator, and our brand new CAT heavy equipment trailer. If you are interested in having us come to your school, contact us at: Director@bigideasusa.org

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Women in Construction Week

The focus of Women in Construction (WIC) Week is to highlight women as a viable component of the construction industry. WIC Week also provides an occasion for NAWIC’s thousands of members across the country to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry and to emphasize the growing role of women

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Instructor Spotlight: Andrew Kish

My name is Andrew Kish I am currently a millwright at United Farmers Coop. I live in New Ulm Minnesota. 2008-2009: Went to ridge water college to receive my certificate in auto body. 2009-2010: Worked at Teskeys Manufacturing as a welding manager. 2010-2011: Worked for Grain States, LLC as a laborer and a welder building

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More Classes at Big Ideas!

Another exciting day at Big Ideas this past weekend. Saturday’s class consisted of: CAD, Plumbing, small engine assembly, and Ironworks (Millwright). Students of all ages can get introduced to a variety of trades. Let us know what classes you would be interested in taking!

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