Jonathan Ramirez, a student at Mount Tahoma, tests out the suction power of a Vactor truck at the Pierce County Career Day at the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup last fall. More than 2,500 students from Pierce and Thurston county schools attended the event, geared toward promoting career paths such as construction, utilities, transportation and the trades, which pay well and don’t require the debt burdens of a four-year college degree. Joshua Bessex