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Jobs, school and seaweed soup

Manson Northwest Webster students look at possible futures

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Andy Fritz, human resources recruiter for CJ Bio America, chats with Malarie Long, 15, at left, and her friend, Paige Wilson, 15 during the Manson Northwest Webster College and Career Night.

MANSON — Andy Fritz, human resources recruiter for CJ Bio America, had his work cut out for him during the annual Career and College Night at Manson Northwest Webster High School.

Telling students and members of the community about the careers and education requirements for them at the plant west of Fort Dodge was easy enough.

Giving away the samples of Seaweed Soup he brought along, not so easy.

“I’ve had one student take it,” he said. “I said ‘what do you have to lose, it’s free.’ He said ‘I’ll try it.'”

A second student, Paige Wilson, 15, came along and did take one of the ready-to-heat pouches.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Manson Northwest Webster High School students visit with some of the schools and business during the annual College and Career Night.

“I haven’t tried it,” she said.

“Just try it,” Fritz said. “It’s good.”

She did like the packaging.

“It’s squishy,” she said.

Fritz informed the students that jobs at the plant require different levels of education.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Dayton Snell, 17, a junior at Manson Northwest Webster High School, tries to put a set of turnout gear on in one minute Wednesday afternoon during the College and Career Night at the school. Manson Fire Department Lt. Richard Hall, at left, along with firefighter Josh Waller, center, time his efforts.

“High school is our minimum for most of our jobs,” he said. “Most administrative positions require a college degree.”

Jeff Anliker, the school counselor, said the Career and College Night meshes well with the school’s mission to provide an educational experience geared to each students’ planned career track. Some want to enter the workforce after graduation, some are looking at two-year programs and some will go on to four-year programs or even longer.

“We’ve had three students this year graduate early and go straight into the workforce,” Anliker said. “My hat is off to them. We want to see them succeed.”

Most of the employers and schools are within easy driving distance of Manson.

“We want to give them a look at what’s available in the area,” he said.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Amber Dangelser, 15, a sophomore at Manson Northwest Webster, selects a pair of sunglasses after spinning the wheel at the Iowa Central Community College table during the College and Career Night Wednesday. Megan Kruse, at left, is the college’s work-based learning coordinator at the East Campus.

One of the exhibitors can’t offer any pay. It can however, offer a chance to serve the community as a volunteer firefighter with the Manson Fire Department.

Lt. Richard Hall said there’s already one in the halls. The minimum age to join is 18, he said. Many of the seniors have reached that age.

“We actually have one here in the high school,” Hall said. “We want to keep the next generation of volunteers going.”

He and fellow firefighter Josh Waller were giving the students a chance to see if they could put on the turnout gear, in the required one minute.

Dayton Snell, 17, gave it a try.

He went over the limit, but not by much.

“I never thought about being a fire fighter,” he said.

His planned career track is a high calling though.

“I’m thinking about becoming a pilot,” he said. “Pilot or something electrical.”

Amber Dangelser, 15, is still undecided.

“I don’t know yet,” she said. “Something with kids. I’ve talked to Iowa Central about their childhood education degree.”

Her friend Paige Kaufman, 16, is leaning towards a medical field.

“I think I want to be a vet,” she said.