College & Career Events Weekly Newsletter Issue 11- 12/11/20

In this issue, we are taking a look at jobs and careers related to the holiday of Christmas.

According to data provided by the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans plan to spend roughly $998 on gifts, food, and decorations in 2020. This is down about $50 from 2019 planned spending due to the pandemic. COVID-19 is expected to shift priorities, resulting in less spending on travel and more spending on family and friends. Planned versus actual holiday spending is a mystery for now. Stay tuned to see how it turns out.

The National Retail Federation 2020 forecast for total holiday sales is $755.3–$766.7 billion.


Did you know the biggest Christmas Tree farm in the world is Holiday Tree Farms located in Corvalis, Oregon?

Holiday Tree Farms sells over one million Christmas trees worldwide each year.

Holiday Tree Farms is centrally located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, near Oregon's major transport corridors (US Interstates 5 and 84). They ship internationally by truck, intermodal or air. Holiday trees, hand-crafted wreaths and greens are selected, meticulously wrapped and carefully shipped to arrive in premium condition.

Holiday Tree Farms runs 12 separate processing yards, employing 600 people during the critical harvest season. Trees are delivered to these yards by truck or direct flight by helicopters. It's here that trees are graded, tagged for size, baled, stacked by species and made ready for shipment. Trees are twine baled (single wrap) or palletized to meet the demands of certain volume buyers. Holiday is one of the few growers in the United States to offer this unique palletized service to its customers.

Check this video below to learn more about Christmas tree farming:


Spokane-based company, Old World Christmas, sells a variety of more than 1,500 hand painted and glass blown ornaments. The company, founded in 1979, has managed to remain very successful and sells ornaments all over the U.S.

Top selling Christmas ornament of 2020 on Amazon, from Old World Christmas.

Old World Christmas employs a variety of skilled professionals from artists to sales to accounting to shipping crews. Watch the video below to see the process of making glass ornaments.


Over 1.76 billion candy canes are made each year.

Nearly 2 billion candy canes will be sold in the four weeks before Christmas and Hanukkah.

Video: How Candy Canes Are Made

The largest candy cane producing factory, Spangler Candy, makes many of the fun flavors you see in many supermarkets.

CANDY.COM is the worlds biggest online candy store.

Average Candy.com hourly pay ranges from approximately $13.42 per hour for Production Worker to $16.00 per hour for Graphic Designer. The average Candy.com salary ranges from approximately $43,371 per year for Van Driver to $80,000 per year for Project Manager (indeed.com).

The salaries of Candy Makers in the US range from $18,740 to $44,900 , with a median salary of $26,950 . The middle 50% of Candy Makers makes $26,950, with the top 75% making $44,900.


Chuck Hoberman's eponymous sphere is one of the best-loved toys of the last quarter century. But it's only one example of his incredible work in transformable design. From adaptive nanotech to flexible building materials, Hoberman has created surprising and inventive designs at every scale.

Although not intending to be a toy designer, his love of math, materials and mechanics produced one of the most iconic toys of the 90s that is still replicated today.

Video: How Harvard Professor, Chuck Hoberman, Makes Transforming Toys & Designs

What does it take to become a Toy Designer?

Most toy designers have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in some field related to art or design. Coursework can include model making, two- and three-dimensional visualization, concept problem solving, and even child psychology.

Many toy designers also need to understand the fundamentals of production and business, so courses or degrees in business practices or marketing might also prove useful. You want to sound professional when you're at pitch meetings for your toy creations.

As in any creative industry, experience counts a great deal. Those wishing to score jobs in the toy design field should have, in addition to their education, a portfolio of work to show prospective employers

Did you know toy makers earn an average of $46.73 an hour? That's $97,207 a year! Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 3% and produce 1,500 job opportunities across the U.S. (zippia.com)

Want to learn more about becoming a toy designer? Click the link below:


Do you love Christmas? Are you full of cheer? If you like acting, the role of Santa is typically in high demand in December. You should have a genuine love of Christmas and children.

The average hourly wage for an interactive Santa is around $30, according to data collected by compensation software. However, the study noted that a top-tier Santa could earn up to $75 per hour. (Payscale.com 2019)


The need for Christmas light installation grows each year.

Although many homeowners and DIYers think hanging lights is simple, it’s often more troublesome than expected. Whether they underestimate the number of lights needed, forget extension cords, or improperly install the lights, a lot can go wrong.

Professional lighting installers are big business for these three reasons: expertise, safety, and quality.

If you’re willing to take the effort seriously, there’s a surprising amount of money to be made. Doing it as a side-gig during the holidays, you could come away with between $5,000 and $15,000 per season. A larger, more serious enterprise could bring in profits well into six figures. Solidly built, larger size Christmas companies enjoy hundreds of thousands in annual net profits.

A Professional Lighting Installer could charge between $15,000 - $25,000 for a large tree installation like this (christmasdesigners.com)

Many landscaping companies, such as Senske, include professional holiday light installation services. Senske provides the Tri-Cities community an annual Holiday Lights Show. Click HERE for more information.

Watch the video below from a professional lighting installer on how to best wrap Christmas tree lights:

Hermey the Elf discovers Dentistry...

In one of the most beloved Christmas movies, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Hermey the Elf breaks free from traditional career expectations at Santa's Workshop to follow his dream of becoming a dentist.

Watch the scene below where Hermey declares his interest in dentistry..

Hermey goes on a great adventure with Rudolph to follow his career dream. Like Hermey, we encourage you to use your resources to help discover your career interests that can lead to your dream job.

Resources to help you find a career:

Advisory- Participate in and complete Advisory class assignments. Advisory is created to help you explore career options, choose career goals and make a plan.
Use your WOIS, High School & Beyond Plan App in myApps. Open up Career Planner (green icon below) and learn about your career interests, search colleges and technical schools, and research career options anytime.
Explore career exploration resources on the Chiawana website, Career & Technical Resources Page. Scroll down to find website links for career exploration.
Sign-up for a Career & Technical Education (CTE) class at Chiawana

Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses prepare students for high demand careers with a depth of learning that builds real-world skills. Each course is part of a comprehensive program of study so that students graduate ready for a job, certification or technical school. CTE courses count toward graduation requirements, and can also count toward college credit at Columbia Basin College!

Drop into "My Future Wednesday" (every Wednesday, 10-11:30 am) to listen to guest speakers and ask college and career related questions from CHS College & Career staff!
Ask people you know for help! Counselors, teachers, staff members, parents, and friends are all great resources to connect you to career information.

Lunch With Leaders Program

Lunch With Leaders brings together Washington State leaders and K-12 students in a no-cost virtual format to inspire students and prepare them for a stronger tomorrow! Leaders will share their stories, discuss the skills and qualities necessary to succeed in their field, and advise on how to plan for a rewarding future. The format for each session will be a 15-minute presention from the speaker, and 15 minutes for Q&A.

Jen Mueller

Wednesday, December 16, 1-1:30pm

Mariners television and and Seahawks radio broadcaster and founder of the Talk Sporty to Me organization that introduces the value of sports conversations in the corporate environment.


My Future Wednesday, 12/16/20

10:00 am

An education at Perry Technical Institute is more than just one or two years of time spent in a program — it's a pathway to a better life.

The time you invest at Perry Tech will put you on the fast track to success. It's no wonder why we were ranked number one nationally by a study featured in the New York Times. Our programs are unique and we collaborate with industry leaders to keep our curriculum up-to-date in every way.

Employers come to us looking for skilled workers who are trained to go above and beyond. Our graduates are known to work hard and raise the bar. Many Perry Tech grads secure jobs even before they graduate.

Your success is our passion. Let us help you open the doors to a brighter future.


Senior Informational Webinar with Mr. Brown


Are you planning on attending a 4-year College or University in Fall of 2021?
If yes, this webinar is for you!


Learn about the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship:

Have a college or career related event to share with students? Email a CHS Student Services Specialist below to be featured in the next newsletter:

Mike Brown, College & Career Guidance Specialist, mbrown@psd1.org

Ana Tuiaea-Ruud, Career & Technical Education (CTE) Community Engagement Manager, aruud@psd1.org


Created with images by Jacob Lund - "Four students using laptop for research at library" • Gorodenkoff - "Portrait of Male and Female Industrial Engineers in Hard Hats Discuss New Project while Using Laptop. They Wear Safety Jackets.They Work at the Heavy Industry Manufacturing Factory." • relif - "SCHOLARSHIP concept on computer screen"