A glimpse at the future
Students learn by job shadowing
Mike Sittig, a body technician at Curt Bacon Body Shop, got a little help Friday morning with preparing the surface of a damaged door that he was going to repaint.
His temporary assistant, Lexy Beck, 18, a senior at Eagle Grove High School, even has a bit of previous experience.
“My dad and I rebuilt a 1952 pickup,” she said. “We left the outside rusty, it’s a rat rod, but we restored the interior. He let me do a lot of the grinding.”
Beck was among dozens of students getting to experience the workplace during the Iowa Central Community College Career Academy Job Shadow Day on Friday.
The job shadow at the body shop let her experience firsthand what a day at work might be like.
“It gives me an inside look at what I’d be doing on a workday,” she said. “This is actual work.”
After the senior graduates, she’s planning on enrolling in the Iowa Central Auto Collision Program.
“This just proves to me I like it,” she said.
Sittig had no trouble recommending either his profession, or the Iowa Central course to learn it.
“You have to have the education,” he said. “Soak in everything you can.”
He enjoys the transition that he can achieve.
“It’s the love of cars,” he said. “It’s the ability to take something that looks like junk to nice again.”
Colleen Bartlett, a career academy specialist with Iowa Central’s North Central Career Academy in Eagle Grove, said an opportunity to job shadow offers the students several benefits.
“A student can explore a career and talk to a professional to find out what education is needed, the future for the job and the skills needed,” she said. “Job shadows are a way to explore what jobs are in our region and what the expectations are.”
She said that 57 businesses from Fort Dodge, Clarion, Eagle Grove, Humboldt, Webster City and Storm Lake were involved in the job shadow.
Career Academy students attend the Clarion-Goldfield-Dows High School as well as high schools in Eagle Grove, Fort Dodge, Humboldt and Webster City. Students also attend from St. Edmond Catholic School in Fort Dodge.
Tanner Dennis, 18, a senior at Fort Dodge Senior High, was shadowing Tony Blomberg, installation manager at Access Audio & Accessories in downtown Fort Dodge.
He’s still, like many high school seniors, not 100 percent locked into a career choice.
“I’m kind of exploring,” he said. “I know I want to do something electrical.”
As part of their morning work day, Dennis got to watch Blomberg install wiring in a new Fort Dodge Police Department squad vehicle and do a remote start installation.
It’s high tech. Blomberg — with several bundles of multicolored wires in his hand — was reading the instructions for the specific car they were working on on his tablet.
“It’s complicated,” Dennis said. “I’m just watching right now.”
Blomberg said his work is very much learn on the job.
“When I first started I had no clue,” he said. “Watching and hands on it’s easier to learn.”
Dennis would get his chance to plug in a few wires.
“Sure,” Blomberg said. “If he wants to.”
Chloe Knigge, 16, a junior at Eagle Grove High School, immersed herself in a business environment at the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance offices.
She too, is still trying to narrow down her career choice.
“I don’t know yet,” Knigge said. “I’m interested in anything that has to do with business.”
Among the staff at the Growth Alliance, she got to visit with Kelly Halsted, economic development director.
“I think it’s great,” Halsted said. “I didn’t have that opportunity in school. This is real life experience and a chance to see what happens.”
Knigge got to meet all the staff at the Growth Alliance and learned about their various roles. At the end of the day, she still wanted to pursue a business career.
“This is reassurance of what I want to do,” Knigge said.