Internship+ Program kicks off in FD

24 people join initiative hosted by Growth Alliance

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Mark French, high performance team coach with Cargill, speaks to interns Wednesday morning as they are introduced to the community and the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance Internship+Program.

The group of 24 interns that will be spending the next few months learning the ins and outs at Fort Dodge and Webster County companies were given an introduction to the community Wednesday morning by the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, which is hosting the Internship+ Program.

Kelly Halsted, economic development director for the Growth Alliance, said the interns will be filling positions at a number of businesses, including Cargill, Elanco US Inc., Snyder and Associates, McClure Engineering Co., Decker Truck Line Inc., and even the city of Fort Dodge.

While the interns are in the program, they will get to attend a number of events and will be given an introduction to Fort Dodge and Webster County.

The goal?

“We hope to create an awareness of the career opportunities available and the quality of life Fort Dodge has to offer,” Halsted said.

For those interns from other parts of Iowa and other states, she hopes they want to join the community.

For those from Fort Dodge, she hopes they return to the community when they finish their degrees.

Brittany Turner, of St. Louis, Missouri, will be working at the Cargill plant for her internship in the Environmental Health and Safety Co-op.

She’s looking forward to the experience.

“I know what I don’t know,” she said. “Once I’m working, I’m not blindsided. I get to see how my field operates. I get to apply the texts to the field.”

She would like to eventually enjoy a career with Cargill when she finishes her master’s degree in occupational safety management.

“I do hope for Cargill,” she said. “That’s the goal.”

Robert Leigh, of Fort Dodge, is working on a dual major in English and film studies at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

His internship is with the city of Fort Dodge in the city manager’s office.

“I hope to find a better way to produce film in a professional setting rather than an entertainment setting,” he said.

He will be working on a project to revamp the welcome to Fort Dodge video.

He’s happy to be back.

“It’s pretty nice to be back in Fort Dodge,” he said. “It’s a nice place to come back to for the summer.”

He’s got familiar surroundings to stay in: His family kept his old room for him.

“The rent is free,” he said, adding, “I do have access to the fridge.”

The interns will have a number of events to attend during the summer including several Lunch and Learn sessions and evening paddling at Brushy Creek State Recreation Area, Shellabration and a dining etiquette dinner.

As part of their welcome Wednesday, the interns also got a tour of the area led by Growth Alliance Chief Executive Officer Dennis Plautz.

The last item on the Wednesday agenda?

“Get to work.”