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Senior takes big step toward future career

Nastasija Harris has always dreamed of being able to build things — big things, like a house. The Cloquet High School senior took the first steps toward making that dream come true by taking classes in the Career and Technical Education department at the school. On Wednesday, she took the next big step by signing on to be an apprentice with the Carpenters Union. She will be sponsored by CMC Construction of Superior.

“I’m really excited for this opportunity and new career,” said Harris, after thanking a roomful of people gathered in her honor.

Before the big event, Nastasija’s father, Jerome Harris, talked about how proud and excited he was for his hard-working daughter. She was the only girl in her Construction Careers 3 class at Cloquet High School this year, and loved the hands-on aspect of her CTE classes.

Adam Johnson, business rep with the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, said they want to recognize students who choose a different path.

“We feel that just as students are recognized for making a decision to go down the sports road and college, students who are pursuing a debt-free career path and going down the trades deserve to be equally recognized,” Johnson said.

There’s a wide range of course offerings in the Cloquet CTE program. Students can enroll in modern auto mechanics, small engines and welding classes, plumbing and pipefitting, electrical training, woodworking and construction, as well as website coding and engineering design classes. The computer lab offers high-end programs such as Photoshop, 3D printing and computer-aided design software.

Jessica Campbell, secretary/treasurer at CMC, welcomed Nastasija to the company. “You’re part of our big family now,” she said.

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