Career Day gives students glimpse of future

The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, working with Iowa Central Community College, held a Career Day at Fort Dodge Senior High Wednesday.

More than 150 speakers, representing 50 businesses, participated in the event, informing and inspiring students in their coming career decisions.

“Fort Dodge High, St. Edmond (High School) and Prairie Valley (High School), all of those students, from freshman to senior, are going to be here,” said Kelly Halsted, GFDGA economic development director.

The day is an important one for students, said Dave Keane, FDSH principal.

“I think, more and more, it becomes important that students make good educational investments of their time,” he said. “They need to do some exploring, identify an area of interest and then take some classes in that.”

Throughout the day, students learned about careers in agriculture, architecture and construction, audio visual technology and communications, business, education, finance, government, health science, information technology, law and public safety, manufacturing, marketing, STEM areas (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and more.

There were also panels on soft skills and human resources.

“They’re talking about what a human resource person would look for on a resume, or on a CV (curriculum vitae),” Halsted said.

According to Halsted, the benefits for the students are many.

“This is a career exploration day for them to understand what really happens, and why they need to be learning what they’re learning,” she said. “It may change their career path, or maybe they’ll say, yeah, this is what I want to do.”

The day’s presenters, Keane said, provide valuable information to students.

“They do a great job of explaining what they like about their job, what they don’t like about their job,” he said. “It’s information that we, as teachers, really can’t provide them. It validates, a lot of time, what we’re saying in the classroom in terms of your soft skills and your responsibility for being there and things like that.”

The event, Halsted said, also shines a light on Fort Dodge.

“We want to show what opportunities are here in the community,” she said. “Companies like Silgan (Containers), Nestle and smaller companies like C&S Products and Josephson Manufacturing. The hospital (Trinity Regional Medical Center) sent quite a few people here. And Cargill and CJ BioAmerica.”