Blake Thompson in the occupational trades building
Dec 17, 2022
Daily Inter Lake

Thompson Named FVCC’s Occupational Trades Director

Flathead Valley Community College named Blake Thompson the FVCC Director of Occupational Trades starting in the new year on Jan. 3. Thompson will finish out his current role as lead instructor in welding and fabrication at FVCC through the conclusion of fall semester 2022.

“We’re excited to have Blake in this role to help bridge the strong foundations of our programs with plans for further growth and partnerships. Blake brings a long history of commitment to this college and this region and we’re excited to have him in a leadership role at FVCC,” said Lisa Blank, executive director of Workforce Development at FVCC.

Trades programs at FVCC teach career-based skills students need to directly enter a job upon graduation. Degree programs span from welding and fabrication technology to electrical technology to surveying, as well as certificate options like industrial machine technology and heavy equipment operator. All areas help students begin or develop within a hands-on career.

Thompson earned an Associate of Applied Science degree from FVCC in welding/inspection technology and industrial machining/manufacturing. He started as an adjunct instructor in FVCC Occupational Trades and Industrial Arts, grew into a full-time instructor, and then into the lead instructor role most recently.

“I graduated from Flathead High School in 1999 and enlisted in the Army just prior to 9/11 on active duty. Five combat deployments and multiple humanitarian efforts later, I reached the end of my second enlistment contract and returned to Kalispell and FVCC,” described Thompson.

As a returning alumnus and inspiring instructor, Thompson’s commitment to FVCC students, programs and community is clear inside and outside of the classroom. He’s worked to facilitate local business partnerships for workforce training as well as internships and job opportunities for FVCC graduates.

Thompson says his dedication to FVCC and the Flathead Valley community comes from his family. “I’m inspired by my wife, daughter and son every day. In the classroom or not, I enjoy metal fabrication, machining repair/customization and helping friends and neighbors in any way I can.”

For more information about FVCC’s Occupational Trades programs, visit