News Room
Career Discovery Day
October 21, 2016
Poweshiek Iowa Development, Iowa Valley Community College District and AmeriCorps hosted the second annual Career Discovery Day for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors on Friday, October 14 at Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company.
With nearly 125 area high school students and 25 local employers in attendance, Career Discovery Day was an excellent opportunity to provide insight and ideas as well as showcase career opportunities for the next generation of employees in Poweshiek County.
Kicking off the day’s activities was Samuel Ibarra, Human Resources Administrator for the Marshalltown operations at Emerson’s Electric. As with most youth, the direction he envisioned his career going was much different from reality. He found a passion for working with people that eventually led him to the Human Resources Division at Emerson. The path toward recognition of his career direction was the inspiration for his motivational message to his young audience.
Following this keynote introduction, the students engaged with local businesses through panel discussions and presentations by employer representatives. They were given the opportunity to pose industry-related questions to the panel as well as learn about the hard and soft skills that would be helpful to have before entering the work force.
“I believe it is a great opportunity for students to learn about opportunities which exist for them. They also learn what the business world is expecting from them. It encourages students to explore the opportunities if they are willing to do it. For Key Cooperative, it is an opportunity for us to make students aware of the career potential they can have in the food industry,” commented panel member Bryan Bandstra, Human Resources and Safety Manager at Key Co-op.
Students explored interactive booths where employers shared industry information, encouraged questions and generated interest in area career opportunities. After lunch they participated in one of the five offered tours which they pre-selected according to their area of interest: ASI/Image First/Brownells; PurFoods/Brownells; Grinnell Mutual/Grinnell Regional Medical Center/Postels Health Park; Manatts/Thombert/Key Co-op/EPC.
There were overwhelmingly positive responses from students as well as the community partners who described the event as very helpful, informative and insightful. Barb Baker, Director of Advertising and Community Relations at Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, summed up the day’s events and goals:
“Grinnell Mutual recognizes the importance of attracting and retaining engaged and energetic employees. We are pleased that we could host Career Discovery Day to showcase our campus, meet area high school students and discuss employment opportunities available after graduation. As one of the largest employers in the area, we understand the importance of providing meaningful careers to citizens from Grinnell and our surrounding communities. Career Discovery Day was a great opportunity for area high school students to visit with numerous Poweshiek County businesses and learn first-hand what jobs are available now and following high school.”