October 2023 Newsletter

October 2023 Newsletter

The winter and spring 2024 internship application portal is NOW OPEN! This opportunity to gain experience, make connections, and be ahead of the curve is open to all 11th – 12th grade students. Internships are 40 hours in length and students can earn dual credit. Learn more.

Job Shadow Portal I Closes With Big Numbers!

Sept. 22 marked the close of our first (of three) job shadow application windows for this school year. We had over 2,400 students from 49 different high schools sign up for job shadows.

North Liberty PoliceStudents were able to pick from one of over 200 different career exploration opportunities. The most popular shadow request areas were in nursing, engineering, teaching, legal, mental health, physical therapy, veterinary medicine, and cosmetology.

Students will have a second opportunity to sign up for a job shadow this November. We introduced this added opportunity last fall and received a lot of positive feedback. The goal of this second fall sign-up window is to allow students who may have missed the first fall application period to have one more chance to apply before January. The second application portal will be open from Nov. 6 to Nov. 17, 2023, at 3 p.m.

Are you a business interested in hosting a job shadow and bringing students into your work environment? If so, check out our Partners and Volunteers page to learn more about how you can get involved!

Introducing New Workplace Learning Connection Team Member Meghan Johnson!

Meghan Johnson will be a new part-time business liaison for Linn County and she will be working out of the Linn County Regional Center. Meghan will maintain and develop relationships with Linn County businesses.Meghan – New Team Member

Where did you work prior to Workplace Learning Connection? I worked at ICAN as a student success advisor at Linn County Regional.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I enjoy spending time with my son, husband, family, and friends. We love to travel, go boating, go jogging/walking outside. I also love a good cup of coffee, fall time, and Iowa football :)

From your perspective, why is career exploration such a pivotal part of a student’s educational journey? Career exploration is so pivotal because it gives students the real-world experience they need in order to make an informed decision that will affect a large part of their adult happiness!

What are you most looking forward to in your new role? I’m looking forward to helping give students the opportunity to explore their career interests and passions. I would have loved to have these opportunities as a young student. I always had a wide range of interests and had trouble narrowing them down. WLC plays a pivotal part of student success. I am deeply passionate about helping students meet their full potential and chase their dreams. I couldn’t think of a more fitting career. I’m so excited to be part of the WLC team!

An Ideal Collaboration: Providing Welding Internship Experiences

October is National Advanced Manufacturing Month, and in honor of this celebration we’re featuring a recent success story with one of our great manufacturing partners. Ideal Industries in Vinton is a full-service manufacturer of fabricated metal products and has been a Workplace Learning Connection partner for almost a decade.ideal Industries logo

Last spring, Ideal Industries collaborated with WLC and Vinton-Shellsburg High School to create an enhanced internship experience for three Vinton-Shellsburg seniors. The students completed a 40-hour internship with Ideal, coordinated by WLC, in conjunction with an online welding curriculum that was coordinated by Louise Fleming, teaching and learning facilitator at VSHS. The goal of the partnership was to give these students the opportunity for a hands-on, real-world welding experience.

“This collaboration was a great experience all the way around — having the opportunity to engage and connect with the future workforce,” says Kayleen Schott, controller at Ideal Industries. “The experience helped us develop our training programs, understand where we were at with our training, and [determine] where we needed to be. It was also a great opportunity for our production team to engage with that next generation of workers.”

All three students felt they got a lot from the experience, and two even stayed on to work full time over the summer. “We enjoyed being able to be a part of these students’ career exploration experiences,” says Kayleen. “It is a win-win experience. They gained some great takeaway skills from the time they spent with us and we got some great production work. It is sad to see these students go, but it is really neat to see them grow.”

Volunteers Needed for Workplace Learning Connection Mock Interviews

Workplace Learning Connection offers a wide array of opportunities for area students, including the opportunity to participate in mock interviews. As part of this offering, students are able to complete a short 15-minute interview with a local professional to get a feel for what an interview is like, the kind of questions asked, and how to behave. For most students, this ends up being their first interview experience!

Interested in becoming a mock interview volunteer? We are looking for volunteers across all seven of our counties! If you are interested, please fill out this interest form and we will reach out with upcoming opportunities.

Workplace Learning Connection