WLC’s Internship Application Portal
for summer 2018 closes Friday, Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. and will open for fall 2018 internship opportunities beginning Feb. 26, 2018 through April 13, 2018 at 3 p.m.
Our internship program sees continued growth in 2018. Internships in high-demand pathways include IT, engineering and health-related careers. We are looking for businesses interested in hosting area high school students in these career fields. For more information contact:
Johnson, Iowa and Washington counties
Benton, Cedar and Jones counties
Corridor Development Group Hosts Inaugural Regional Pathways Event
Recently established Corridor Development Group held an inaugural Introduction to Pathways event on Jan. 9 with keynote speaker Hans Meeder, national expert and author of The Power and Promise of Pathways
"We were excited to have such great attendance at this kickoff event. Twenty school districts and numerous industries were represented. Corridor Development Group is tasked with addressing the workforce challenges in the region, and working to develop the talent pipeline is the long-term solution to this issue. When we can work together to provide parents, educators and business with information on the critical careers and help our schools provide quality career development to all students, it is a win-win. There were great conversations around the benefits of career-connected learning for all stakeholders, and we look forward to continuing that conversation, as well as supporting and expanding the great work happening in our region." –Kate Mooreland, Director of Career Development, Corridor Development Group
“The Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor Development Corporation’s Pathways Event reinforced the importance of the work we are doing in our region and challenged us to take career pathways to an even more focused and intentional level, shares Laurie Worden, Director of Workplace Learning Connection. Through adoption of HF 2392 and of the IDOE’s career and technical education directives to Gov. Reynolds’ Future Ready Iowa (FRI) initiative, Kirkwood Community College stands ready to collaborate and support regional goals in work-based learning engagement as well as career pathways planning. Community colleges and their intermediaries are well equipped to assist in the delivery on the FRI goal of preparing 70 percent of our regional workforce with an education or training beyond high school by the year 2025. We have many successes to celebrate in AREA10, but we have a lot of work to do to get those connections made and goals met!”
Spring 2018 Financial Literacy Fair
We have already begun preparations for our annual Financial Literacy Fairs. Area businesses and community members can sign up to volunteer here
WLC’s Financial Literacy Fair is a unique opportunity for community volunteers to work with area middle school students. This event is the culmination of career exploration and financial study. Students learn about basic financial decisions needed in life and connect it with their desired occupation and related income, all captured on a monthly budget sheet. Volunteers guide students with decisions on how to spend their virtual money on life expenses such as education, transportation, housing, insurance, food and “extras.” Volunteer financial counselors will coach them through the final budgeting process.
In spring 2017, WLC hosted 5,313 eighth-grade students, a 9 percent growth from 2016, and the event is expected to grow again for spring 2018. We will host eighth-grade students from Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Jones, Johnson, Linn and Washington counties. This year’s fairs will be held April 17 in Iowa County, April 18 in Washington County, April 23-27 in Johnson County and May 7-18 in Linn County. Become a volunteer today at WLC Volunteer Now
Soft Skills Lacking According to Iowa Workforce Survey
Iowa Workforce Development recently released Workforce Needs Assessment
providing insights into the demand for employees and skills required both statewide and regionally. Soft skills were at the top of the skills reported as “lacking by applicants.”
Does your student have the soft skills needed as a future employee? Business partners, are you mentoring students on soft skills needed in your environment?
Whether you are a parent, business, educator or mentor, students need both dialogues about and the opportunity to develop the soft skills necessary for their future.
Watch WLC’s Facebook
page for “Tuesday Tidbits” with great articles and information to help your student develop soft skills.
Faces of WLC
Meet Cheryl Valenta, WLC’s events coordinator. Cheryl leads the team on the planning and preparation of major career exploration events in our seven-county region.
“This role involves connecting corridor business with young learners to highlight the extraordinary opportunities available here in Eastern Iowa.” shares Valenta.
Such events include STEM Institute, Financial Literacy Fairs, Target Your Future and Project Lead the Way tours, just to name a few. Most recently Valenta led the successful pilot of the Find Your Spark! STEM II Institute delivering a wide array of STEM careers and activities from 28 local business partners to 2,400 seventh-grade students.
Delivering the high-quality events we are known for is no easy task! Valenta says she relies on her achiever, adaptability and positivity strengths to help bring these events to life.
According to Cheryl one of the most important things that Workplace Learning Connection provides is an opportunity to help young people discover the very best of themselves.
“My work is gratifying because we help youth identify the type of work that fits them and learn about careers that impact our community. When students participate in any of our exploration activities, they learn about the work-life world and the opportunities available here. We help students to start thinking about life as an adult - to understand their interests and innate talents, to develop their dreams and blend them together for a career that works for them. This happens through collaboration with schools and inviting businesses to share their industry with young people.”
Outside of WLC, Valenta is actively involved in being a good environmental steward by volunteering with the local 350.org group, IOWA 350 to develop local strategies with community partners and help educate people to make a positive impact.
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018
The 2018 STEM Festival will be held at the Linn County Kirkwood Regional Center (1770 Boyson Rd., Hiawatha) on Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 4 to 8 p.m. This hands-on event for Pre-K to grade 12 students and families will host over 50 exhibitors bringing science, technology, engineering and mathematics to life. Experienced scientists, engineers, teachers and education experts will share an afternoon full of interactive activities. New this year, WLC will host virtual STEM-related job shadows for this special event.
The event is free and open to the public. Register at the event or pre-register at: https://se.iowastem.org/linn-county-stem-festival
Planning for Your Future Career and College Fair
Join WLC for the 2018 Planning for Your Future event on Tuesday, March 6, at Marion High School. All Linn County high school students and parents are invited to attend.
This year’s event will feature a new format for the evening.
Students and parents will attend up to four 25-minute sessions to learn about the following topics:
- Careers: Gain insights from career professionals representing 10 different career fields during panel presentations
- Scholarship opportunities
- Career Decision-Making: Resources, resume writing and interviewing tips
- Parent Session: Navigating the last years of high school
After learning about career options, explore your next steps! The following organizations will be on hand to meet with students and parents.
- Colleges and universities
- Businesses offering apprenticeships
- MEDCO’s Community Promise
- Workplace Learning Connection
Students are encouraged to preregister
for this event.
Check out information session descriptions here
For more information, contact Mariann Ryan, Workplace Learning Connection, 319-398-4829 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Linn County Regional Center
1770 Boyson Road, Hiawatha, Iowa 52233
319-398-1040 | 319-398-1041 (fax)
Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa
2301 Oakdale Blvd., Coralville, Iowa 52241
319-887-3970 | 319-358-3102 (fax)