North Dakota Army National Guard hosts conference to help school counselors make connections

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Students aren’t the only people preparing to go back to school.

Counselors from all over the state attended a conference with the North Dakota Army National Guard on Wednesday.

We stopped by Bismarck’s Army Aviation Support Facility to see what it was all about.

School counselors from all across North Dakota attended a PDC, Professional Development Conference, with the North Dakota Army National Guard.

Kelly Pierce, who works with the North Dakota Career and Technical Education program, says they do this every year.

“They need to make connections with the people who are hiring our kids that are in high school. So this is an opportunity for them to make connections, today particularly, the North Dakota National Guard,” said Pierce.

The guard’s air defense, civil support team and military police gave demonstrations and even orientation rides on Black Hawk helicopters.

One recruitment officer says there are many career paths students can enter, and skills they can learn about through the military.

“There are a lot of aspects of the North Dakota National Guard that people didn’t know existed. It’s nice to kind of enlighten our counselors, our career counselors as they go into the school. They can speak more accurately about what the guard has to offer. Everybody in high school thinks oh, I got to go to college. CTE exposes a whole other realm where kids can walk out of a high school and go right into the workforce with a job that actually pays decent, instead of $10 an hour,” said Brett Gentile a recruiter for the North Dakota Army National Guard.

A school counselor for Divide County School District says these conferences have been helpful.

“What’s important to know is that we try and give our students several different options. So, when they are leaving high school, they can pick and choose: military, post-secondary, just a career. The more knowledge we gain, the more we have to share with our students,” said Judy Harding, a K-12 school counselor.

Harding says she’s looking forward to learning more about another field next year to give her students as much information as possible.

About 80 school counselors made it out to the conference.

If you would like to learn more about the North Dakota Army National Guard and its upcoming events, click here.

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