Jonna Garrett – Business-Education Partnership Professional

Hello everyone! How was your Thanksgiving? I hope it was filled with family, food and shopping some great deals! Be sure to also shop local this holiday season – our local Corridor businesses are what help keep our economy thriving.

If you haven’t already heard (or seen in the papers!), we have a new Corridor staff member! Meet Jonna Jo Garrett: she is our new Business-Education Partnerships Professional.

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Although this Southern Belle is originally from Oklahoma, Jonna moved from Wisconsin to the lakes region in August with her family. She brings twenty-five years experience working in Health and Clinical Education. Prior to joining Iowa Lakes Corridor, Jonna worked as a Clinical Educator for Agnesian Healthcare in Wisconsin, where she developed education programs, created business processes and trained nursing staff. One of her greatest joys of working as a Clinical Educator was her role in developing, training, and managing students and staff. Jonna’s already made a lasting impression on the Corridor staff. Kiley Miller, CEO of the Iowa Lakes Corridor, states:

“Jonna’s knowledge, experience, work ethic and friendliness make her the ideal person to build strong partnerships between Corridor businesses and schools. She will have a long-lasting, positive impact on the local workforce.”

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Jonna has been hard at work coordinating the High School Manufacturing and Construction Trades Academies with Scott Rettey, the staffs at Spencer High School and Okoboji High School, and Iowa Lakes Community College. On top of that, she’s hit the ground running coordinating and training volunteers for Junior Achievement in the lakes region.
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“I’m fortunate to be a part of the Iowa Lakes Corridor, and I’ve had a great time partnering with local businesses and schools thus far,” said Jonna. “There are just so many great opportunities here.”

While Jonna’s not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, running, and enjoying the outdoors.

“I had the privilege of enjoying the lakes area this past summer,” said Jonna. “I have a love for the outdoors and enjoy water skiing, bike riding, running, and I also plan to do a triathlon in the lakes area next summer.”

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Jonna has already convinced part of the staff to do the U of O Winter Games 5K with her… I think I’m going to need Jonna’s help in getting trained :)

If you would like to reach out to Jonna, you can email her a jgarrett@lakescorridor.com.

Have a great week everyone! Thanks for reading.

LibbyGlaserLibby Glaser
Communications and Events Coordinator
Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation
lglaser@lakescorridor.com
(712) 264-3474

A Thank-You to Scott Rettey

Hey Everyone! WOW it’s been awhile since I’ve been on this blog. The fall has been pretty busy for all of the Corridor staff! I’m excited to spend more time in this space and give each of you a behind-the-scenes look into what’s happening at the Corridor.

Students with Certificates

Last week, the Corridor’s “Manufacturing 101″ Adult Workshop finished up, and we are very proud of the five students who graduated from the program! This program couldn’t have happened without the help and participation of 10 manufacturing companies, IowaWORKS, Iowa Lakes Community College and Spencer High School. There is one person in particular, though, that has been a key player in sustaining the program, and that person is Scott Rettey, the Corridor’s Manufacturing 101 instructor.

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Scott has a rich history in the manufacturing industry. He graduated from St. Cloud State in 1978, and he received his Masters in Industrial Education and Manufacturing soon after. Rettey has worked at Spencer High School teaching industrial education courses, working with students and staff members interested in the industrial, engineering and manufacturing industries. When Scott was asked to assist in teaching the Manufacturing 101 adult workshop, the decision was immediate.

“I’ve been involved in the metals manufacturing industry for the last 15 years,” said Scott. “When I announced my retirement, the Corridor asked me if I would like to teach these adult manufacturing training courses, and I couldn’t say no. ”

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Not only has Scott been an incredible instructor to the students of Manufacturing 101, but many of his students, both adult and high schoolers, consider him a friend, mentor and colleague.

“Scott is so positive, and he’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever had,” said Geoff Maurer, graduate of the fall Manufacturing 1o1 Adult Workshop. “He’s patient, caring, and I’m proud to call him a colleague of mine. He wants to see everyone succeed.”

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“I have the greatest respect and admiration for Mr. Scott Rettey,” said Sue Biederman, graduate of the fall Manufacturing 101 Adult Workshop. “He is an awesome instructor. He teaches not only manufacturing methods, but what is sometimes more important, listening, compassion and caring with a great dose of humor. Scott is unassuming, humble, and an excellent communicator. He can meld a group of students from various backgrounds and ages into a bonded team that helps, learns and shares with each other. Just the best! I nominate him for Spencer’s Person of the Year!”

The Corridor staff has also been greatly impacted by Scott’s leadership.

“Scott knows his stuff,” said Kiley Miller, CEO of the Corridor. “He’s patient, and he’s got a great sense of humor. He’s the kind of person we’d all like to be.”

“Without question, Scott Rettey is an instructor who has a God-given gift,” said Joanne Follon, Economic Development Coordinator of the Corridor. “He understands his students and instructs them on the skills they need to succeed, but he also nurtures their self confidence to achieve those goals set for themselves. The last of which is a very important element to individual success.”

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We at the Corridor feel very fortunate to call Scott one of our own. Thank you, Scott, for all of your hard work, dedication to workforce development, and for your leadership in this program.

If you would like to reach out to Scott Rettey, feel free to contact him at srettey@spencerschools.org.

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone! May your holiday be filled with family and laughter.

LibbyGlaserLibby Glaser
Communications and Events Coordinator
Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation
lglaser@lakescorridor.com
712.264.3474

Manufacturing 101: July Session

Happy Friday! Today’s post is focusing on the July session of our Manufacturing 101 workshop! The workshop participants are finishing up their second week, and we’re excited to see their progress and also see them interview with local manufacturing companies at the end of the workshop! I thought it might be fun to hear their stories of how they learned about the program and also what their favorite part about the program is. Check out their stories below to see how each of these students have been uniquely impacted by the Corridor’s Manufacturing 101 workshop.

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Luis Ruiz:

“Dan Anderson (from Iowa Lakes Community College) talked to me about this class because I really wanted to get more experience in welding, and he said I should come to Spencer and take this class. I’ve liked learning about sketching and welding, and understanding all of the sizes and diameters for sketching has really helped me. When you need to weld something, you need to know how to weld it right, so sketching and blueprinting has been really useful information for me. I live in Estherville, and everyone there is really nice. I’ve enjoyed living in the Corridor and hope to find a job here soon.”

 

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Dennis Kahl:

“I enlisted in the Marine Corp, and then went back to Arizona. I was working at Pizza Hut, Subway – places like that to keep an income going. My parents moved to Iowa, so when my lease ended I moved here too. They found an article in the newspaper about this class, and I was obviously interested. I really wanted to get some hands-on experience and further my education. I had done some drafting before. I can use my talent in drawing and I’m really excited about the solid works program and seeing all of my progress. I couldn’t ever do any of these things back in high school, and now all of these talents have become hobbies of mine. I’m excited to see my hobbies become my full-time job, and this workshop will allow me to do that.”

 


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Blake Dalziel:

“I graduated high school in eastern Iowa, and I heard about the class through my uncle (Corridor staff member, Brian Dalziel). I first started working at a grocery store and then my grandpa’s shop as a lube tech. I worked there for a year, and by taking this class, I’ll have more experience to return and hopefully take on more of a management role. I love the solid works part of this workshop. I would like to also do industrial maintenance in the future, and that might tie in really well if I decide to go back to the family business. The family business is really important to me, and I’m excited to go back home and take on more roles.”

 

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Doug Falline

“I was in the post office and I saw Bob Becker (from Iowa Works). He mentioned that there was a class provided by the Corridor, so I marched right down to their office and signed up! I worked at StyleCraft for 16 years, so I have some experience in manufacturing. This class is actually hitting me right at my weaknesses, which is turning out to be great. I’m learning so many new tips and tricks so that I can get better at what I’m not the best at, so I’m excited that I’m seeing my improvement as I continue with the program. I’m excited to see what Polaris and other manufacturing companies have to offer. My family has lived in the Corridor for years, so I’m excited to start a new chapter in the place I call home.”

 

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Carol Young:

“I worked at Pure Fishing for almost 40 years. I thought this would be a good review of the information I already had, but I’m learning quite a bit of new information. My favorite part so far has been the drafting overview. My ideal job would be working in welding, and I always see ads for welders. I wanted to see if I could gain the skills to do it before I jumped right in and realized I didn’t like it, and so far I’m really enjoying learning about welding. Through this program, I now know that I can do this job, so I’ll feel so much more confident in getting a job in this industry after completing the workshop.”

 

Peggy Tewes (Not Pictured):

“I heard about the program through Iowa Works. I worked in manufacturing in the 90s, and I thought since this was a free course, I thought it would be a great way for me to gain more skills while I’m looking for employment. Everything that we’re learning is so new, so originally I was feeling like a fish out of water, but Scott has been so helpful and I just keep trying! This program has helped me realize that I want to go back to college. I have had experience in the medical field as well, and I have realized through this workshop that I would love to go back to school and finish my degree. I really love the Corridor because this class is free, our lunches have been free, and everyone is so nice and helpful. Through this program, I’ve been able to get the right contacts to discuss my options with Iowa Lakes Community College as well, so I can’t say enough good things about this program!”

 

Thank you to all of our awesome Manufacturing 101 Workshop participants for sharing your stories! For more information about the Manufacturing 101 Workshop, contact the Iowa Lakes Corridor at 712-264-3474. See you next week!

 

Libby Glaser

LibbyGlaser

 

 

Young Professionals Spotlight: Wendy Pouse

Happy (early) 4th of July!! Independence day is one of my favorite holidays. I feel so fortunate to live in this wonderful country, and I can’t wait to spend it celebrating with Corridor residents. The Young Professionals group is celebrating together with a YP party and BBQ. Thank you to Cody Steinkamp from Farm Bureau for offering to host our 4th of July party! For more information about this event, you can contact me at lglaser@lakescorridor.com.

 

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Our next Young Professionals Spotlight is one of the Iowa Lakes Corridor’s own! Meet Wendy Pouse. Wendy is a 33-year-old bookkeeper originally from State College, Pennsylvania who recently moved to the Corridor about a year ago.

“I’m from Pennsylvania and I lived in State College since I was ten. I’ve lived all over – I lived in Germany for four years when I was young and I’ve traveled through most of the United States. I moved to Iowa simply because I needed a change!”

I asked Wendy why she chose Iowa, specifically the Lakes Corridor,  as her new home. Her story is quite unique!

“My sister and I decided we wanted to move away from Pennsylvania permanently, so we got a dart, threw it at a map of the United States and it landed in the state of Iowa. I did my research and realized how many opportunities there are here (and very few tornadoes!). I’ve now been in Spencer for about a year and I couldn’t be happier.”

 

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WOW! Her story is one that sounds like it came out of a movie! Wendy also mentioned that she had been in the state before. Ironically, Wendy accidentally stumbled into the Corridor about a year before she moved to the state.

“I worked at Penn State University in their World Campus department for a while, but then realized that I wanted a complete career change, so I took a job working in trucking. It was such a fun opportunity to see the country, and I actually stopped one day about 5 miles south of Spencer! When the dart landed on Iowa, I was actually really excited because I had been in the state before and loved the scenery and the people I had already met. Looking back on my experience, I couldn’t believe that I had been only 5 miles away from Spencer, the place I now call home.”

 

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Wendy is a bookkeeper for both Arts on Grand and most recently the Iowa Lakes Corridor. She found out about this job through going to her first Young Professionals meeting (score!).

“I got this job because I went to the first Young Professionals meeting, and I met Alexa Guessford who used to work at the Corridor. She said the Corridor was looking for a bookkeeper part-time and it just fit in really well with my schedule at Arts on Grand. I wasn’t expecting to make those kinds of connections right away when I joined the YP group, but I’m obviously thrilled with how everything turned out.”

So are we! Wendy had also met Kathy Evert, our President and CEO, previously in an art class, so Wendy was already up to speed on the Corridor’s mission when she started working with us in June.

“I had actually taken an art class with Kathy, so I already knew her before I applied for the job. We both make and design jewelry so we instantly bonded. I love working here and we’re definitely always busy.”

 

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I asked Wendy what she loved most about the Corridor, and she had plenty of positive things to say, not just about her job and new town, but also the people who live here.

“Since moving here, I’ve really been able to use my college degree in the workplace! I received my Associates degree in Business Administration and Accounting, and I had no problem finding jobs in the Corridor where I could actually use my skill sets. The community here is also so welcoming. I have been able to really come out of my shell and meet new people here. The community is so accessible and everyone is willing to help or give advice when needed. It’s large enough for me that there are activities to do, but Spencer still has tons of small-town charm.”

 

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Wendy said she’s excited to spend time at the Iowa Great Lakes this summer and also spend more time with her family, specifically her soon-to-be five-year old niece, Miranda (pictured above), and her boyfriend, Tim. Additionally, Wendy loves animals and has a strong bond with her cat, Anna. She’s also excited to complete her house hunting process this August. With the recent purchase of a house, Wendy states she’s loving Spencer and can see herself being here for a while.

“I like the area and I like the people. I’m here to stay. Why would I leave?”

I don’t know why you would :) Thank you Wendy for giving us a snapshot into your life! For more information about the Young Professionals group, email me at lglaser@lakescorridor.com. Have a great day!

Libby Glaser

LibbyGlaser

Young Professionals Spotlight: Mary Halbur

Is it just me, or is summer FLYING by?! It’s almost the 4th of July, and the Young Professionals group has already had some awesome events and meetups! Our next big get-together is this Saturday, June 28th. We’ll be meeting at Arnold’s Park Public Beach at 2pm for a sand volleyball/beach day! Bring your volleyball and sunscreen for lots of summer fun! We’ll be sending out an email with more information, and there’s also information on our Facebook page. Email me at lglaser@lakescorridor.com if you’d like to join our Facebook group!

This week’s Young Professionals Spotlight features a Corridor intern who is also a dear friend of mine. Mary Halbur is a 22-year-old University of Iowa graduate from Ames, IA. Mary and I have been friends for over 12 years, and we were also college roommates! Although we are not from the same area, Mary’s family and my family have become close friends because of our shared love of the Iowa Great Lakes!


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“I’ve been coming to the lakes for about 12 years, and it’s always been a place for my family to get together with great friends and family. The lake is our place to relax and rewind, and I have really come to appreciate the time I’ve spent in the Corridor. I can’t imagine a summer where I’m not at the lakes for at least a little bit of time.”

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Mary graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Speech and Hearing Science, a minor in Human Relations and a certificate in Disability Studies (busy girl!). Mary will attend St. Cloud State University next fall to receive her Masters in Applied Behavioral Science, however she is interning this summer at the Iowa State Extension and Outreach Office of Clay County in Spencer as their K-3 STEM Programming Intern. I asked her why she chose St. Cloud State University, and her answer made me smile!

“Minnesota is the land of lakes, and I could tell that the atmosphere there mimicked the Corridor environment. Being around lakes and being surrounded by such great people will be familiar and nice. It’s not the same as the Iowa Great Lakes, but I’m excited to be close by for 2 years.”

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Mary stays busy this summer with her internship at the Iowa State Extension and Outreach Office, and she was really excited to talk about all the programs she’s helped plan for the summer!

“Right now, I have been planning, coordinating, and facilitating the “World in Motion” programs. The first week’s topic was “Engineering Inspired by Nature”, and after that we did a “Rolling Things Challenge”, where the kids studied toy cars and determined their performances based on their weight and other aspects. All of the camps are very “hands-on”, and it’s fun to watch the younger kids learn from the older kids and vice-versa.”

I asked Mary about the difficulties of working with young children, however Mary said the kids keep her job interesting and gratifying.

“Working with K-3rd grade kids is always really fun and provides an upbeat environment to my job.  During the workshops, I have to make sure to keep the kids on their toes and change things up all the time. They all bring different personalities and aspects to the program, so each day is different and exciting.”

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Mary will also work together with the Extension Office team on the Achievement and Communication Fair for kids to qualify for the state fair before they head back to school in August, as well as helping with the Clay County Fair, and other Extension and Outreach events.

“During the Achievement Fair, kids from the Corridor can get their projects in the human science fields judged to potentially qualify for the state fair, so we’re really excited about that! The fair will take place on July 22nd, and anyone who’s interested can find more information on our website (click here!).”

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I asked Mary if she would ever consider coming back to the Corridor to live here full-time, and she was optimistic about all the opportunities here in her field.

“I will hopefully be working with kids in the “early intervention” stage, and I think there is a great need in Iowa for this particular area. I’m definitely open to returning to the Corridor. I don’t know where I will be after graduation, however I’ll definitely consider the need for my field in the area once I’m done. I would love to come back to Iowa because I would already be familiar with the area and I could continue to build a network of people in my field here.”

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Mary just recently joined our Young Professionals group, and she said she’s excited to meet new friends in her field here and also learn more about other Young Professionals in the Corridor.

“I’m excited to go to Young Professionals events. I’ve never worked in Spencer before and I didn’t really know people from this area that live here full-time, so I’m excited to expand my network. I’m a big believer that when people from different areas of expertise work together, everyone will leave with a more impactful experience, so that’s something that makes the Young Professionals group so important.”

I couldn’t agree more! When Mary’s not working, she mentioned she loves spending time on the water, hanging out with friends on the end of the dock and spending time with family.

“I love the Corridor because everyone is so friendly. The Corridor has such a positive environment here. It’s nice and refreshing to see so many people who want to grow and prosper here, but also have fun doing it. I always feel like I’m in a good mood at the lakes.”

 

Thank you Mary for being our first YP Intern interviewee! I can’t wait for Saturday’s beach day, so feel free to stop by anytime after 2pm to play a game of sand volleyball! Have a a great week!

Libby Glaser

LibbyGlaser

Manufacturing 101 Spotlight: Temi Otaniyi

Hey everyone! Hope you’re all having a great week thus far. Today I’m doing something a little different on the blog. Instead of focusing on our Young Professionals, I’m taking a minute to share an incredible story. Meet Temiloluwa (Temi) Otaniyi! He graciously let me interview him the other day to talk about his life story, as well as his involvement with this month’s Manufacturing 101 Workshop. Temi is a Spencer resident who is originally from Nigeria. He’s lived in the US for a couple of years, and although he loves the Corridor and enjoys raising his family here with his wife, he’s struggled to finish his degree and find full-time employment.

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“I came to the US as an international student to go to college. I went to SW Oklahoma State and studied Computer Science for two years. I decided to stop because I thought I would be a rock star and have a music career, but eventually I had to draw the line between youthful hopefulness and adult reality. I came to Spencer because my wife is from here and we’ve been here for a couple of years.”

Temi currently works full-time at Jimmy Johns, however he was always hoping to finish his degree and find a career that was rewarding. Although his wife is a registered nurse in Spencer, Temi mentioned that he wanted another opportunity to learn more skills and become more qualified in the manufacturing industry.

“When I was in college, I felt that I was learning valuable information and I was growing. Once I stopped going to college and got out into the work force, I realized I still didn’t have the necessary skills and experience I needed. I had applied to Polaris online and through a temp agency, and I honestly forgot about my applications. I finally got a call from Polaris and they told me about the Manufacturing 101 program, and I felt like it was a second chance at both receiving valuable education and the skills I need to keep growing and succeeding.  I was skilled, I was educated, but I wasn’t really qualified. I was working on grain bins and felt that I wasn’t progressing as a person. That’s where this workshop really came into play. “

 

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The “Manufacturing 101: Learn to Earn” workshop consists of short courses designed for adults and 2014 high school graduates. The 3-week, FREE program emphasizes assisting individuals in a respectful, adult-learning setting where they will learn the manufacturing, human relations, career and safety skills needed to be immediately hired. The Corridor has teamed up with many manufacturing and industrial companies to give students interviews and FREE training and resources in the hopes that they can be hired directly after completion of the workshop. Participating companies include Polaris Industries, Vander Haag’s, Ranco Fertiservice, Maurer Manufacturing, Shine Brothers, Tecton Industries, Pure Fishing and Rosenboom. Additionally, students have the opportunity to receive more information about Iowa Lakes Community College if they feel inclined to go back to school. The July session begins on Monday, July 7th and runs Monday – Friday until July 25th.

Did I mention that this program is totally FREE?? Ok, just checking…

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Temi feels that the Manufacturing 101 workshop came at the right time.

“This workshop has been a blessing. I’ve learned so much in just a week and I had no clue that I would be learning so many valuable skill sets. If you’ve never learned something, then you don’t know. I had limited experience and worked at various manufacturing companies temporarily, but all the skills I’m learning now will help me land a job in the industry that I know will help lead to an exciting career.”

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I asked Temi what his career goals are, and he stated that he was dreams of being in management and working his way up in the manufacturing industry. Temi also mentioned that he enjoys learning other valuable skill sets in the workshop, like learning proper dress etiquette for interviews.

“I’m definitely preparing for a broader scope of work and many different opportunities, but I would love to eventually get into management. What I didn’t anticipate was that I’m learning other skills too, like interview skills and also how to make a proper resume. I’ve been able to add so much to my resume strictly because of the experience I’ve gained here in the Manufacturing 101 workshop. I’m excited to walk into my interviews and give companies my portfolio because I’m proud of the work I’m accomplished so far.”

 

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One activity students do during the Manufacturing 101 workshop is take a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) test. The NCRC test helps students discover their interests in the workforce, as well as what industries best suit their interests and strengths.  Temi says he’s excited to see what his results are, and he hopes to continue taking the test to improve his score.

“(The NCRC test) helps to see where I am and where I stand now before training. I really want to take the test again because I’m excited to see how much I can improve. I’ll also be able to see what my strengths are, so once I do get done with the program, I can better use my strengths towards a profession that I love and actually enjoy.”

 

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Scott Rettey, retired industrial education teacher at Spencer High School and also the instructor for the Manufacturing 101 workshop, states he’s impressed with Temi’s progress and hopes to see more success stories, like Temi’s, in July’s Manufacturing 101 workshop. Scott stated:

“Temi is such a personable young man. He’s shown up every day and worked hard, and he has a willingness to learn more skills. He hasn’t been afraid to try things and he’s continuously improved on all standards and tests. Temi’s worked hard on some modeling software and made a portfolio for himself. We’ll be working into mills, welding, torquing assembly, and simulating a production simulation. We’re about halfway through the program and I’m really pleased with the progress Temi has made. I’m hoping to see more stories like his in next month’s workshop too.”

Thank you to Temi for sharing his story! I’m excited to see all the opportunities he will receive after completing this workshop. Applications are still being accepted for the July Manufacturing 101 workshop! Interested individuals can find the workshop application on the Iowa Lakes Corridor website (click here for the application) or you can contact Tina Sherrill at tsherrill@lakescorridor.com.

For more information about this workshop, please contact us at 712-264-3474, or call us toll-free at 1-800-765-1428.

Have a great day! Thanks for reading :)

-Libby Glaser

LibbyGlaser

Young Professionals Spotlight: Kristen Hartwig

Hey everyone! We  just put a ton of new Young Professional events on our Facebook calendar this week and I know I’m anxious to get the group back together again! If you’re not on our email list or Facebook group, be sure to email me at lglaser@lakescorridor.com to start getting event invites! This also goes out to any summer interns – we’d love to show you around the Corridor area!

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Kristen Hartwig is our next Young Professionals Spotlight. I met her a couple weeks ago at the Young Professionals BBQ, and let me tell you, we had so much fun chatting about event planning, watching Storage Wars and the upcoming Hunter Hayes concert. Kristen actually works for the Clay County Fair, so I’m hoping she can score me some tickets :) Kristen and her husband, Jon, moved to Spencer last year after he got a job, and they have now lived here for about a year.

“My husband Jon got a job in Sioux Rapids at Ranco Fertiservice, Inc. last July. We moved here and after a week or two, I found in the local paper that the Clay County Fair needed a temp position to be filled. It was great because I got to work on many projects for the fair, and they soon hired me on full-time as the Special Projects Manager.”

Kristen says she enjoys working for the fair and also likes the challenge of having many different tasks throughout the day.

“I wear a lot of hats. I answer a lot of questions about the fair and help with overall planning. If something needs to be done, I’m usually the go-to girl.”

Kristen likes being in a smaller community, like Spencer, because she is originally from a small town.

“I grew up in Carroll and graduated high school from Kuemper Catholic. I then moved to Ames and attended Iowa State University where I studied Family and Consumer Sciences and Educational Studies.”

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I asked her why she didn’t get a degree in event planning, and like most people, she said she had a change of heart, although she enjoyed taking Family and Consumer Science classes. She held many internships in event planning, and also was a member of the Event Management Club at ISU to gain more experience.

“I originally wanted to be a teacher and realized it just wasn’t for me. Then I started to do internships in event planning and really liked it. Working at the Clay County Fair really allows me to see how our residents are impacted by all of the events and competitions at the fair. My job is extremely gratifying.”

I can totally relate to Kristen – seeing so many smiling faces after planning an event is so rewarding! Kristen also mentioned that she has a busy summer ahead of her, as her and Jon are also looking for a house.

“We just moved here about a year ago and we have no plans to move. We live in town and are looking for a home right now, so it’s a really exciting time for us.We also have three fish – Voldemort, Gatsby and Shrimp. They like it here too!”

I think I can guess Kristen’s favorite books! :)

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When asked what her favorite part was about living in Spencer, she mentioned how much she enjoys having neighbors and friends that are so willing to help whenever needed. She also loves the strong sense of community she felt immediately after moving to the Corridor.

“When Jon and I started looking for places to rent, we didn’t really know where to start. I called the Spencer Chamber of Commerce and they were so helpful in giving us many resources to find rental properties quickly. These are some of the perks that you may not be able to receive in a bigger city like Des Moines.”

This summer, Kristen also plans to continue with her hobby of re-purposing old pieces of furniture and turning them into unique, like-new pieces.

“I love re-purposing things. Just recently I redid enough chairs for a small wedding ceremony. I’ve thought about making this into a small business, but it takes a lot of time to collect the items I need. Maybe someday if I don’t ever have a full-time job I’ll be a full-time junker.”

I think the YP group may need to have a re-purposing party soon! I think it’s safe to say that Kristen enjoys living in the corridor and hopes to stay for quite a while!

“I would like to retire at the lakes. Right now I’m focused on the next five years though, so we’ll see. But we’ve liked living in Spencer and being a part of the Young Professionals group.”

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Thanks Kristen for sitting down with me for an interview! The Young Professionals will be meeting next this Friday, June 13th at the Clay County Fair Grounds for a FREE concert, featuring Boogie and the Yo Yoz. We’ll all be meeting at 8pm! I’ll be sure to document our event on the blog :) If you’d like to come, feel free to email me at lglaser@lakescorridor.com so I can add you to our email list and Facebook page!

Have a great day! Thanks for reading!

Libby Glaser

LibbyGlaser