All Stars 2019

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Meet Sandra Hawes<br />

and other ALL STARS<br />

who are making an<br />

impact in the region’s<br />

business sectors.


A Message from the President<br />




4 Matt Doubet<br />

6 Duncan MacDougall<br />


8 Sandra Hawes<br />

10 Katie Wagner<br />


12 Kayla Crawford<br />

14 Kyla Pfeiler<br />


22 Jared Murphy<br />

24 Teresa Young<br />


26 Alex McCaslin<br />

28 Randall Pugh<br />


30 Nick Fisher<br />

32 Lewis Minehart<br />



The Iowa City Cedar Rapids Region<br />

(ICR) of Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson,<br />

Jones, Linn and Washington<br />

counties is a land<br />

of opportunity.<br />

Across our great<br />

seven-county<br />

area, employers<br />

are looking to fill<br />

in-demand job<br />

openings with<br />

Lori Sundberg<br />

qualified, hardworking<br />

employees.<br />

Our local<br />

economy is definitely strong, but it<br />

could be even stronger. The key to<br />

reaching our full potential is to help<br />

our workforce thrive by making sure<br />

that the future leaders of the ICR receive<br />

the education and training they<br />

need to make an immediate impact.<br />

At Kirkwood Community College,<br />

the faculty and staff pride themselves<br />

on knowing that everything they do<br />

serves the greater good of the ICR<br />

community — even for those that<br />

never step foot on our campus. That’s<br />

because we work with industry sector<br />

boards to promote careers and<br />

develop the curriculum necessary to<br />

educate and train the leaders of tomorrow<br />

in vital industries. Kirkwood<br />

graduates fill positions that are crucial<br />

to the success of our area employers.<br />

Businesses flourish with the right employees,<br />

which leads to a strong economy.<br />

When that happens, everyone in<br />

our region benefits.<br />

Take a look at the people featured<br />

in this magazine. I encourage you to<br />

read their stories so you can understand<br />

how they became so successful.<br />

These ICR <strong>All</strong> <strong>Stars</strong> are leaders in their<br />

fields and are shining examples of the<br />

opportunities that are out there in our<br />

region. You, or someone you know,<br />

could follow in their footsteps. A future<br />

in a great career is within reach.<br />

However, deciding on a career<br />

pathway or even changing from one<br />

career to another can be an intimidating<br />

problem. It doesn’t have to be.<br />

The solution is literally in your<br />

hands.<br />

In the middle of this publication,<br />

you’ll find all the information you<br />

need to start down the path to success.<br />

Regardless of what stage you’re<br />

at in life, it’s never too early or too<br />

late to find the career of your dreams.<br />

Great-paying careers are available<br />

right now in very important industries<br />

here in eastern Iowa. No matter<br />

if you’re still in high school or need<br />

to go back to get your diploma, need<br />

short-term training or are ready to<br />

start a two-year degree — Kirkwood<br />

can help you find your future.<br />

You could start on your path to be<br />

the next <strong>All</strong> Star that inspires the next<br />

generation of our workforce. But as<br />

with all journeys, it takes the first step.<br />

Lori Sundberg<br />

President<br />

Kirkwood Community College<br />

16 <strong>All</strong> <strong>Stars</strong> Honorable Mentions<br />

17 Pathway to an <strong>All</strong> <strong>Stars</strong> Career<br />

34 Jr. <strong>All</strong> <strong>Stars</strong>: Student Project<br />

35 Jr. <strong>All</strong> <strong>Stars</strong>: Elisha Sir-Louis<br />

Main Campus, 6301 Kirkwood Boulevard<br />

Southwest, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404<br />

(319) 398-5411 • www.kirkwood.edu<br />

A print product of the<br />

Corridor Business Journal<br />

corridorbusiness.com<br />

2 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR


<strong>All</strong> <strong>Stars</strong> represent outstanding employees who are between the ages of 18-35<br />

and have great stories to tell about their achievements. <strong>All</strong> Star and Honorable<br />

Mention winners represent careers within one of these industries:<br />

• Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE)<br />

• Advanced Manufacturing<br />

• Financial Services<br />

• Healthcare<br />

• Information Technologies<br />

• Transportation, Logistics<br />

Architecture, Construction<br />

& Engineering (ACE)<br />

and<br />

Advanced Manufacturing<br />

Sector Boards<br />

have created a resource for educators,<br />

students and job seekers<br />

to generate awareness about their<br />

industry and careers.<br />

• Using an Interest Profiler on the portal, students identify their<br />

personality traits and interests and match them to careers for which they<br />

have an aptitude.<br />


www.explore-ace.org<br />

explore-manufacturing.org<br />

• Students/job seekers can learn about the industry from photos and<br />

videos of businesses, local statistics on job outlook and salary ranges.<br />

• Opportunities for job seekers and students are listed on the portal.<br />

<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 3


Matt Doubet<br />

Project Superintendent<br />

Woodruff Construction<br />

Tiffin, Iowa<br />

Watch Matt’s story<br />

youtu.be/o5pp6iNQbYY<br />

What do you do as a project superintendent?<br />

I oversee Woodruff’s field personnel as well as any subcontractors<br />

at a construction site. I supervise the planning and<br />

scheduling of projects and work with the owner representatives,<br />

architects and engineers. I also really enjoy teaching<br />

our employees carpentry skills every opportunity I get: framing,<br />

hanging drywall, setting doorframes/windows, siding,<br />

setting cabinets.<br />

What has been your career pathway to your current job?<br />

I started at Woodruff part-time as an intern while I was enrolled<br />

in the carpentry program at Kirkwood. I really enjoyed<br />

Kirkwood because they have a very good program. I graduated<br />

in May 2011 and then started full-time as a carpenter<br />

at Woodruff. After a year, I had worked my way up to a<br />

carpentry crew lead/foreman. In early 2017, I was promoted<br />

to project superintendent after completing a few in-house<br />

trainings with Woodruff as well as some Master Builders of<br />

Iowa classes. I am very passionate about my work and the<br />

construction industry. I try to come up with better processes<br />

and try to always keep improving.<br />

What gets you excited to go to work each day?<br />

I really enjoy that every day I can see what I’ve accomplished,<br />

and I have the ability to work on all sorts of projects.<br />

I also enjoy that every project, such as the Stead Family<br />

Children’s Hospital at the University of Iowa, has its own<br />

unique aspects and challenges. This was a fun and challenging<br />

project because Woodruff had the finish package for the<br />

majority of the building. I was in charge of a crew that was<br />

installing Fiber Reinforced Laminate wall panels on every<br />

floor of the building. Since we were installing finish product,<br />

our work was to be done on the tail end and with a short<br />

time constraint, which made it challenging trying to coordinate<br />

with all the different contractors on-site. I helped come<br />

up with a building process that allowed us to keep up with<br />

the demands of the schedule for our work.<br />

How did you get into the construction field?<br />

I grew up around construction: My dad is a local contractor<br />

who specializes in sound and video solutions in residential and<br />

commercial projects. I also have to give credit to my building<br />

trades program at Marion High School. I was fortunate to have<br />

a great instructor and a program that taught me so much and<br />

helped me realize I had a passion for construction.<br />

What do you do in your job that you find especially cool?<br />

The coolest thing is that I get to be a part of building something<br />

from start to finish. I have been fortunate to be able to<br />

work on schools, churches and hospitals in my community<br />

and see how my work helps them grow.<br />

Has there been anything in your work that has surprised<br />

you?<br />

One thing is the need for good communication skills. Typically,<br />

when you think about construction, that’s not something you<br />

think about as a high-priority skill to have. It makes a huge difference<br />

in our industry to be able to communicate well.<br />

If someone isn’t sure if construction is the right field for<br />

them, what should they do to check it out?<br />

Take any shop, drafting, CAD or home-improvement classes<br />

you can. If you’re 18, get on with a company for a summer<br />

and see how you like it. At least give construction a try. At<br />

the very least you’ll learn some skills that you can use the<br />

rest of your life.<br />

4 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR


Growth <strong>2019</strong>-2023<br />

Surveyors +7%<br />

Drafters +5%<br />

Environmental Engineering Technicians +10%<br />

Construction/Laborer +5%<br />

Pipelayers +9%<br />

Median Hourly Earnings<br />

$24.44<br />

The source of the information above is provided by: Emsi occupation employment data are based on final Emsi industry data and final Emsi staffing patterns. Wage estimates are based on Occupational<br />

Employment Statistics (QCEW and Non-QCEW Employees classes of worker) and the American Community Survey (Self-Employed and Extended Proprietors). Occupational wage estimates also affected<br />

by county-level Emsi earnings by industry.<br />


<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 5


Duncan<br />

MacDougall<br />

Apprentice Electrician<br />

Price Electric<br />

Robins, Iowa<br />

Watch Duncan’s story<br />

youtu.be/vJ0R3B17qBY<br />

What do you do as an apprentice electrician?<br />

By preplanning and prebuilding, or “prefabbing,” as much<br />

as possible in a very controlled environment, with bigger<br />

and better tools, and with more access to hardware and<br />

support, we can save an uncountable number of hours in<br />

fieldwork, minimizing risk and making buildings go up faster.<br />

That is my job. This includes small things – like wiring outlets<br />

and switches, precutting wire, and landing wire into residential<br />

panels – all the way to building pipe racks for an entire<br />

building, temporary power stations and even complete<br />

traffic intersections. If we thought that it would save time, we<br />

would do it.<br />

Why did you choose the architecture, construction and<br />

engineering (ACE) field?<br />

My entire life I knew I would need a career that allowed me<br />

to do work with my hands. I couldn’t sit at a desk all day.<br />

When I was offered an internship, later a job, with Price, I<br />

knew I couldn’t turn it down. My workplace learning experience<br />

is the absolute best thing about my job. There<br />

are constant classes to learn about any aspect of being an<br />

electrician. And Price is very good about having the more<br />

experienced teach anyone who asks about anything. I<br />

recently learned about wiring controls, something I’ve been<br />

interested in since I first saw a diagram for them.<br />

What has been your career pathway to your current job?<br />

My career started when I was 15 and was offered an internship<br />

with Price, and it started in an unconventional way – by<br />

sweeping floors, cleaning, filling the gas in trucks and taking<br />

out the trash. It was not enjoyable in the slightest way for a<br />

15-year-old, but I stuck with it and ended up enjoying my<br />

job far more than I ever thought. I took a few classes at Kirkwood<br />

while I was in high school, mainly because I wanted<br />

to take advantage of all the opportunities for learning that I<br />

could get. And Kirkwood has some of the best ACE programs<br />

around, is very affordable and is well-respected.<br />

What are some of the challenges you experience on<br />

the job?<br />

There are more challenges than I can count, and that’s an<br />

aspect of my job I really like. You wake up before dawn, go<br />

to work eight to 10 hours a day, five to six days a week, and<br />

every hour you face a new problem. Where is my pipe going<br />

to go? How am I going to fit everything I need into this tiny<br />

space? Why is this plumber in my way? And it’s more than<br />

mental challenges. There is an amazing amount of physical<br />

challenges too: the long hours, heavy lifting, standing/walking<br />

all day long, etc. But the worst is the weather. I’ve gone<br />

to work in -20 weather, in 100+ weather, in rain, snow and<br />

storms. But those challenges have made me who I am, and I<br />

cannot imagine my job without them.<br />

What does it take to be successful in your line of work?<br />

Ask for help and work hard. And remember: Your attitude<br />

matters. I had a 110-pound vegetarian woman outwork a<br />

220-pound guy who was built like a linebacker because<br />

she had a better attitude. Most of the time there will be<br />

on-the-job training, which means you’ll be paid to struggle<br />

through hard and annoying work. If you don’t have an<br />

attitude that allows you to fail, you will not learn from the<br />

inevitable failures.<br />

If someone isn’t sure if the ACE sector is the right fit,<br />

what should they do to check it out?<br />

Do internships. Talk to people in the trade. Ask all the questions<br />

you can think of. Most people love to talk about what<br />

they do and will gladly offer advice.<br />

6 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR


Join our team and make a difference<br />

WHY ACE?<br />

Architecture • Construction • Engineering<br />

Changing lives.<br />

HBA & Habitat for<br />

Humanity<br />

Building something<br />

out of nothing.<br />

HBA & Kirkwood<br />

partnership<br />

We’re mentoring, training and hiring.<br />

Parade of Homes $1million house<br />

Making dreams come true.<br />

Contact Melissa Olson at your LOCAL<br />

Cedar Rapids Housing & Building Association<br />

eo@crhba.org or 319.395.0778<br />

Building Futures • Building Community<br />

ACE median hourly earnings $25.18<br />

In Iowa, construction occupations are projected to grow by 24% from 2015-2025 (EMSI)<br />

EMSI occupation employment data are based on final EMSI industry data and final EMSI staffing patterns. Wages estimates are based on Occupational Employment Statistics (QCEW and Non-QCEW<br />

Employees classes of worker) and the American Community Survey (Self-Employed and Extended Projections). Occupational wage estimates also affected by county-level EMSI earnings by industry.<br />

<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 7


pabilities we could bring to the department. We have<br />

found our niche to be making more customized products<br />

for our customers. Our sales department works<br />

closely with the customer to get an idea of exactly<br />

what the customer wants, and from there it’s manufacturing’s<br />

job to figure out how to make it happen.<br />

What gets you excited to go to work each day?<br />

The chance to work with a variety of people who have<br />

different skills and strengths. It’s incredible to watch<br />

everyone’s different strengths come together to make<br />

things run smoothly.<br />

Sandra Hawes<br />

Second Shift<br />

Manufacturing Manager<br />

Clickstop<br />

Urbana, Iowa<br />

Watch Sandra’s story<br />

youtu.be/gFypQ28D6PE<br />

What do you do as a manufacturing manager?<br />

I manage all of our part-time manufacturing associates. More specifically,<br />

I work within my teams’ strengths and skills to get product<br />

to our customers as safely and efficiently as possible while having<br />

a lot of fun along the way.<br />

“Advanced Manufacturing” is the category in which you’ve<br />

been honored as an <strong>All</strong> Star. What is meant by that term?<br />

Advanced manufacturing is all about continuous improvement.<br />

Companies that are considered “advanced manufacturing” are<br />

focused on improving the way a product is made, whether it’s<br />

through changing their processes or through investing in newer<br />

technology and/or equipment. When I started at Clickstop, we<br />

manufactured tie downs and cargo nets and have since added<br />

tarps and chain slings. We continue to look at new products or ca-<br />

What has been your career pathway to your current<br />

job?<br />

My dad was a production manager at a Marion<br />

business that makes electrical harnessing for power<br />

machinery. I started working there in college because I<br />

needed a part-time job, and it really opened my eyes<br />

to how much I enjoyed the work. I wasn’t enjoying my<br />

college nursing program, so I decided to learn a little<br />

bit more about manufacturing. I followed my family to<br />

Michigan, where I’m originally from, and started working<br />

for an automotive company as a quality rework<br />

technician. I learned a lot about the quality processes<br />

in manufacturing and traveled to a few states, working<br />

on different projects for the company. In 2016 I moved<br />

back to Iowa and started at Clickstop. I started out on<br />

the sewing line making tie downs and was presented<br />

with the second-shift manufacturing manager position<br />

a few months after that.<br />

Why did you choose the manufacturing field?<br />

I love knowing that the work I do every day plays a<br />

part in getting a customer what they need. I never<br />

leave work feeling like I haven’t accomplished something.<br />

What advice do you have for people who might<br />

want to work in manufacturing?<br />

Research the different opportunities within the industry<br />

and take advantage of tours that are offered at local<br />

manufacturing facilities, which will familiarize you with<br />

the work environment.<br />

Why is manufacturing a great field to get into?<br />

There are a lot of different aspects to manufacturing<br />

that make it a great career for anyone who enjoys<br />

working in a fast-paced environment. There are manufacturing<br />

associates who enjoy working to build the<br />

product, schedulers who are good at prioritizing and<br />

building the schedule for manufacturing, quality assurance<br />

employees who have a high attention to detail to<br />

ensure we’re building the products to industry standards,<br />

and many others. A hunger for learning about<br />

new areas or different aspects of the business is really<br />

what drives your advancement within the industry. Really<br />

think about the things you enjoy doing, and utilize<br />

your strengths.<br />

8 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR


Median Hourly Earnings<br />

Machinists $20.16<br />

Maintenance Workers Machinery $15.96<br />

Sheet Metal Workers $21.24<br />

Millwrights $26.37<br />

Welders $17.17<br />

CNC Operators $28.00<br />

Industrial Machinery Mechanics $28.21<br />

The source of the information above is provided by: Emsi occupation employment data are based on final Emsi industry data and final Emsi staffing patterns. Wage estimates are based on Occupational<br />

Employment Statistics (QCEW and Non-QCEW Employees classes of worker) and the American Community Survey (Self-Employed and Extended Proprietors). Occupational wage estimates also affected<br />

by county-level Emsi earnings by industry.<br />

Congratulations to<br />

Sandra Hawes<br />

on your<br />

<strong>All</strong>-Star Recognition!<br />

Sandra is a tenacious worker with a<br />

dedication to her values and to quality<br />

in manufacturing. Her commitment to<br />

hold her team equally accountable to<br />

the work that they do and to how they<br />

do it has helped our manufacturing<br />

team reach new heights of production.<br />

Well done, Sandra!<br />

<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 9


Katie Wagner<br />

Regional Business<br />

Development Manager<br />

World Class Industries<br />

Hiawatha, Iowa<br />

Watch Katie’s story<br />

youtu.be/spumoM9ltO0<br />

What do you do as a business development<br />

manager?<br />

I’m responsible for enterprise-level management of<br />

our largest original equipment manufacturer (OEM)<br />

customer account. This means closely collaborating<br />

with our customer units on new strategic projects<br />

allowing for continued growth while also working<br />

to help ensure we meet and exceed our customer’s<br />

expectations on existing business.<br />

What gets you excited to head to work each day?<br />

I work with a lot of incredibly talented and intelligent<br />

people, so it’s always fun to head to work when<br />

you’re surrounded by great people. I also love that<br />

I get to interact with our customers on a daily basis,<br />

hear what their challenges are, then come back to<br />

our team to collaborate and identify a solution that<br />

we can present to resolve our customers’ constraints.<br />

What has been your career pathway to your current<br />

job?<br />

I started with WCI right out of college as a supply<br />

chain specialist working with suppliers to procure<br />

parts. I then transitioned to quote specialist where<br />

I began doing the pricing and setup of parts. After<br />

that I moved to Germany for two years in a bit of<br />

a hybrid role. I was the only WCI employee and<br />

only U.S.-origin employee at our facility. We were<br />

just launching the facility and beginning the direct<br />

relationship with our European customers (previously<br />

we supplied them via their U.S. factories), so I spent<br />

time either being responsible for or helping train in<br />

10 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR

the following areas: quote, product realization, supply<br />

chain, quality and operations. I then returned to the<br />

United States as the operations supervisor overseeing<br />

our Hiawatha production team, then spent two<br />

years as our strategic quote supervisor. I have been<br />

in my current role for just over two years. The ability<br />

to continuously learn and develop new skills through<br />

different roles has been one of the most rewarding<br />

aspects of working at WCI.<br />

What has been the most challenging part of your<br />

career?<br />

My initial assimilation into Germany. I was 25 and<br />

had moved to a foreign country by myself with very<br />

limited understanding of the language and culture. I<br />

quickly learned a young American female from an organization<br />

rooted in innovation, agility and adaptability<br />

was not the norm in our location or with our European<br />

customers and suppliers. Fortunately, I was able<br />

to develop good relationships with colleagues and<br />

friends in Germany who helped educate me on best<br />

practices so that after a few trial-and-error learnings, I<br />

was able to better assimilate and provide value.<br />

What is especially rewarding about your job?<br />

I get to hear from our customers about their biggest<br />

headaches and constraints and then come back and<br />

share that feedback with some extremely intelligent<br />

and highly capable co-workers who come up with innovative<br />

ideas that I then get the privilege of presenting<br />

to our customers as easy-to-implement solutions<br />

for them. Knowing you get to be a part of improving<br />

the day-to-day operations of a well-respected OEM is<br />

a rewarding feeling.<br />

If someone isn’t sure if manufacturing is the right<br />

fit, what can they do to check it out?<br />

Ask questions. Do research. Engage with local programs,<br />

such as at Kirkwood, where you’re provided<br />

opportunities to tour facilities and see things up-close<br />

and personal. Advanced manufacturing is an exciting<br />

field because there’s constantly new and different<br />

technologies, capabilities and methods that are being<br />

developed and implemented to ultimately do things<br />

better. This results in many new opportunities for folks<br />

in the field, which allows for a long-term career with<br />

lots of diversity for those excited to explore it.<br />

The world is at your fingertips.<br />

Let World Class Industries help you get there. We have exciting opportunities<br />

areas like engineering, operations, assembly, and supply chain integration.<br />

At WCI you’ll find:<br />

• Comprehensive competitive benefits<br />

• Vertical advancement opportunities<br />

• Complete industry-specific training<br />

• Prospects domestically and abroad<br />

A world of opportunities and possibilities abounds at World<br />

Class Industries. Contact us today!<br />

(319) 378-1766 • careers@worldclassind.com<br />

WorldClassInd.com<br />

Corporate Headquarters<br />

World Class Industries, Inc.<br />

925 North 15th Avenue<br />

Hiawatha, IA 52233<br />







AUGUSTA (GA)<br />


<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 11


Kayla Crawford,<br />

CPCU, AU, AINS<br />

Senior Supervising<br />

Underwriter<br />

UFG Insurance<br />

Cedar Rapids, Iowa<br />

Watch Kayla’s story<br />

youtu.be/Kn_edKeP5Ng<br />

What do you do as a senior supervising underwriter?<br />

I spend a majority of my time coaching/mentoring the support<br />

professionals whom I supervise. I also spend a portion of<br />

my time underwriting, which includes reviewing new business<br />

applications, making changes to existing policies and<br />

reviewing renewal business. I also get to be involved in many<br />

projects to help continue to move our company forward.<br />

Why did you choose the financial services industry?<br />

I knew I wanted to pursue a business degree, and after taking<br />

a Principles of Insurance class in college, I knew that was<br />

the more specific path I would take. Insurance is such a vital<br />

part of society, and its use to help businesses manage the<br />

risks to their business is really what led me to this career.<br />

Did you go to college for this kind of work?<br />

Yes. I received my bachelor’s in finance with a certificate in<br />

risk management and insurance. Continuing education is<br />

also very important to me as well as to UFG. I received my<br />

insurance license as part of my position in our service center;<br />

I was working directly with our policyholders, which required<br />

the license. My designations are something I wanted to<br />

obtain to always be improving myself and to have more<br />

knowledge to better serve our customers.<br />

Speaking of customers, how do you define excellent<br />

customer service?<br />

It means doing everything you can to help your customer.<br />

It has always been important to me that I actively listen to<br />

my customer to understand the situation, do my research to<br />

make sure I have the most accurate answer and make sure<br />

they fully understand the answer. Whether the answer is<br />

what a customer wants, they should always walk away knowing<br />

I did all I could for them and that they understand why<br />

the answer is what it is.<br />

What has been your career pathway to your current job?<br />

I began working at UFG Insurance as a rater associate after<br />

graduating from college. After a year, I transitioned to our service<br />

center, and after two-and-a-half years as service center account<br />

specialist, I transitioned into underwriting. In 2016, I was<br />

hired into my current role as a senior supervising underwriter.<br />

What do you find especially rewarding about your job?<br />

Helping people. That can be anything from helping<br />

agents get their customers the policies they need to cover<br />

their business to coaching staff to help them advance in<br />

their careers.<br />

Has anything in your work surprised you?<br />

Yes. The opportunity to travel and build even stronger relationships<br />

with our agencies. My region works with agencies<br />

in Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota and<br />

Ohio. I’ve gotten to travel to most of these states, which has<br />

been an amazing opportunity to see the areas that I am writing<br />

insurance for.<br />

If someone isn’t sure if financial services is the right fit,<br />

what should they do to check it out?<br />

Talk to individuals currently working in the industry to see<br />

what exactly they do and what their favorite part is. Reach<br />

out to companies to see if there are any opportunities to do<br />

a job shadow to learn more about the company/industry. If<br />

insurance is an area of interest, look at colleges that have<br />

insurance-specific classes, certificates or degrees. Look<br />

into internships with insurance companies and/or agencies<br />

in your area. Insurance is more than sales. There are many<br />

careers within the industry: underwriting, accounting, IT,<br />

project management, human resources, investments, etc.<br />

There truly is a wide array of paths you can take.<br />

12 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR

Jim, Information Services<br />

Quinson, Surety<br />

Jenna, Underwriting<br />

Corey, Claims<br />

Alissa, Corporate Marketing<br />

Seth, Information Services<br />

Shawn, Risk Control<br />

Tara, Service Center<br />

YOU?<br />

Cora, Claims<br />

Ryan, Underwriting<br />

Usha, Project Management<br />

Daniel, Claims<br />

Bedora, Corporate Underwriting<br />

Kyanna, Surety<br />

We’ve We’ve found found our our place place at at UFG. Will you?<br />

Visit ufginsurance.com/careers to see our current openings.<br />

UFG Insurance | 118 Second Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401 | www.ufginsurance.com | 800-332-7977<br />

© <strong>2019</strong> United Fire & Casualty Company. <strong>All</strong> rights reserved.


What do you do as a GIS technician?<br />

My main responsibility is to keep all of our utility infrastructure,<br />

address and parcel layers up to date with the latest information.<br />

I use all of this information to create maps for employees,<br />

contractors or residents if they are wanting to know where<br />

the water or sanitary sewer comes into a property. In order to<br />

make this all happen, I do fieldwork to collect the required<br />

data using a GPS device at various construction sites. Once<br />

I’ve completed my data collection, I compare it to construction<br />

plans in the office to make sure everything is installed correctly.<br />

Along with GIS work, I help out in the Water Department and<br />

assist customers when they call or stop in to City Hall.<br />

What gets you excited to head to work each day?<br />

Knowing each day is going to be different than the previous<br />

one; I never know what the day has in store. I enjoy getting<br />

new projects assigned to me and being able to see the<br />

finished product. Someone might come visit me about a new<br />

project they need me to work on, a certain layer of our system<br />

needs to be updated or they simply need me to create maps<br />

of the city with various features on it. I like being able to assist<br />

the citizens and contractors when they stop in.<br />

Did you go to school for this kind of work?<br />

Yes. I attended Kirkwood, graduating in fall 2015 with my A.A.S.<br />

in geographic information systems (GIS) and A.A. in liberal arts.<br />

During my time at the City of Hiawatha, I’ve made multiple<br />

layered maps, helped many different departments with mapping,<br />

and proposed and bought a new GPS system – all things I was exposed<br />

to at Kirkwood. During the summer of 2015, I interned with<br />

the City of Hiawatha, and with my class schedule the way it was, I<br />

had the flexibility to continue working here while earning my B.S.<br />

from UNI in geographic information science: planning and policy.<br />

Kyla Pfeiler<br />

GIS Technician<br />

City of Hiawatha<br />

Hiawatha, Iowa<br />

Watch Kyla’s story<br />

youtu.be/ESyiIN_THVQ<br />

What do you find especially rewarding about your job?<br />

Having the ability to go out in the field and give a precise<br />

location of where a missing manhole, curb stop or water valve<br />

might be. Or even simply printing off a map or being able to<br />

give distances from our GIS system to a particular feature for<br />

either myself, a co-worker or a contractor to use when locating<br />

it. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing my job is important for others<br />

to be able to do their jobs.<br />

Has anything surprised you throughout your career?<br />

While going through college and working in the field, I found<br />

out there aren’t many women in this field. I encourage women<br />

to look into a degree that is nontraditional for women. And the<br />

same for men. It’s easy to write off a degree because you think<br />

it’s gender-based, but give it a chance. It may be just what<br />

you’re looking for.<br />

What advice do you have for people interested in your line<br />

of work?<br />

If you’re in high school and you’re given the opportunity to<br />

do job shadows, do as many as you can. This can give really<br />

good insight about the job or degree you’re looking into. And<br />

attend as many program conferences as needed, or reach out<br />

to a teacher in the program for more information. Never close<br />

your mind off to new opportunities.<br />

14 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR

FINANCIAL SERVICES Growth <strong>2019</strong>-2023<br />

Credit Analysts +8%<br />

Medical Secretary +9%<br />

Loan Officers +5%<br />

Credit Counselors +5%<br />

Median Income<br />

Loan Officer $29.41<br />

Customer Service Representatives $16.06<br />

Insurance Sales Agent $22.68<br />

Financial Examiner $31.12<br />

The source of the information above is provided by: Emsi occupation employment data are based on final Emsi industry data and final Emsi staffing patterns. Wage estimates are based on Occupational<br />

Employment Statistics (QCEW and Non-QCEW Employees classes of worker) and the American Community Survey (Self-Employed and Extended Proprietors). Occupational wage estimates also affected<br />

by county-level Emsi earnings by industry.<br />

We Believe in Making<br />

a Difference<br />

If you’re ready for more than a job, you’re<br />

ready to join our team. Hiawatha grows<br />

and supports positive work environments,<br />

professional-personal growth and giving back<br />

to community!<br />

We make a difference in people’s lives!<br />

www.hiawatha-iowa.com<br />

Kyla Pfeiler is one<br />

of those individuals<br />

making a difference.<br />

Congratulations<br />

Kyla on your <strong>All</strong>-Star<br />

Recognition. We are<br />

proud of you!<br />



Interested in a steady income that is<br />

more than a job? Want to join a company<br />

that will invest in your well-being and<br />

development?<br />

Locally rooted and growing, Frontier Co-Op is seeking<br />

new individuals to join our Operations team! Our<br />

openings are located just outside of Cedar Rapids in<br />

Norway and North Liberty on all three shifts.<br />

Explore and apply on our website<br />

www.frontiercoop.com<br />

Frontier is an equal opportunity employer.<br />

<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 15



The following individuals are <strong>All</strong> Star Honorable<br />

Mentions and are to be commended for the<br />

contributions they make to their industry:<br />

Brian Banowetz<br />

Primus Companies, Project Manager<br />

Lucas Claussen<br />

Raining Rose, Quality Chemist<br />

Lee Coblentz<br />

CRST Expedited, Director of Load Planning<br />

Jeff Crew<br />

LL Pelling CO, Foreman<br />

Sarah Dale<br />

International Paper, Continuous Improvement Manager<br />

Ryan Dalziel<br />

Worley Warehousing Inc, Shift Lead<br />

Hector Fernandez<br />

Frontier Co-Op, Master Sanitation Lead<br />

Jake Galloway<br />

Thompson Truck & Trailer Truck, Sales Representative<br />

Matt Hoffman<br />

CRST Lincoln Sales, Asset Coordinator<br />

Aaron House<br />

Van Meter, Automation Product Specialist<br />

Sam Kott<br />

JM Swank, LLC, Transportation Analyst<br />

Brenton Rice<br />

Stutsman Logistics, Logistics Specialist<br />

Matthew Russell<br />

Raining Rose, Packaging Floor Supervisor<br />

Jacob Schwind<br />

CRST International, Assistant Corporate Controller<br />

Mike Scroggs<br />

Think Safe, Developer<br />

Tyler Simoens<br />

ADM, Shift Supervisor<br />

Kurt Winnike<br />

CIVCO Medical Solutions, Planning & Material<br />

Logistics Manager<br />

DeLandis Wright<br />

Centro, Inc., Business Process Support<br />

Congratulations,<br />

DeLandis Wright!<br />

ICR <strong>All</strong> Star Honorable Mention,<br />

Advanced Manufacturing Sector<br />

No matter what career you are seeking, Centro’s<br />

desire for continuous improvement, supports<br />

a culture that empowers everyone with<br />

opportunities to make a difference. DeLandis is a shining<br />

example of seizing that opportunity and committing<br />

to growth as a valued Associate and leader within the<br />

organization. Centro is growing and promotes from<br />

within. Visit the website to learn more.<br />

For additional information on careers, visit<br />

Centroinc.com/career<br />

950 North Bend Drive<br />

North Liberty, IA 52317<br />

(319)626-3200<br />

16 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR

<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 17

18 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR

<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 19

Challenge Yourself. Change Lives.<br />

For more than 35 years, CIVCO Medical<br />

Solutions has been committed to bringing<br />

cutting-edge technology to medical<br />

professionals around the world.<br />

With offices in Kalona and Coralville,<br />

CIVCO designs and manufactures products<br />

for use in ultrasound-guided diagnostic and<br />

therapeutic procedures.<br />

CIVCO’s history of success is built by people<br />

who are passionate about creating innovative,<br />

life-enhancing solutions.<br />

To learn more, visit CIVCO.com/careers<br />

102 First Street South | Kalona, IA 52247 | 800.445.6741<br />



Congratulations Kurt Winnike,<br />

CIVCO Planning & Materials Logistics Manager<br />

<strong>2019</strong> Creative Corridor<br />

<strong>All</strong> <strong>Stars</strong> Honorable Mention<br />


Morning Rush<br />

Business Morning Daily Rush<br />


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Balance<br />


Morning Rush<br />

MON-FRI BY 8AM: An executive briefing-style<br />

newsletter recapping the local, regional and national<br />

stories you’ll be Business Morning talking about. Daily Rush<br />


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events, headlines Innovation Balance Business and weather. Daily<br />

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EVERY MON BY 4PM: A look at what’s new at local<br />

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about wellness Innovation Real on and Small recreation Estate Watch<br />

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EVERY WED BY 4PM: Track the latest real estate and<br />

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Real on Events Small deals<br />

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on Events Small Business<br />

EVERY THU BY 4PM: Designed for those interested in<br />

local enterprise. Featuring startup and small businessfocused<br />

news Events from around the Corridor.<br />


Real Estate Report<br />

on Events Small Business<br />

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Events<br />

<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 21


Jared Murphy<br />

Clinical Data Advisor<br />

UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital<br />

Cedar Rapids, Iowa<br />

Watch Jared’s story<br />

youtu.be/xjOLMPzD3Jo<br />

What do you do as a clinical data advisor?<br />

I’m part of our performance improvement team. I get to<br />

work with doctors, nurses and other health care professionals<br />

across the care continuum to collect, interpret and analyze<br />

data to help make decisions and improve the quality of<br />

care. I create reports, presentations, graphs and other visualizations<br />

to help share this information. Some of the areas I<br />

get involved with include readmission work, patient satisfaction,<br />

infection prevention and chronic disease management.<br />

What gets you excited to head to work each day?<br />

This role brings together two of my passions – numbers and<br />

health care – and I get to spend time doing what I love every<br />

day. I get excited knowing the work I’m doing is helping<br />

patients get better. I don’t ever speak with or touch a patient.<br />

Most of my work goes on in the background, but that<br />

doesn’t mean it isn’t helping improve the care given. There<br />

is also just an energy working in a hospital. Babies are being<br />

born here, patients are undergoing surgery, people are healing,<br />

and I ultimately get to play a small role in all of that.<br />

What did you study in college?<br />

I have my bachelor’s degree in mathematics and am pursuing<br />

my MBA with an emphasis in health care management.<br />

Why did you choose healthcare as a career?<br />

I spent a lot of time in hospitals as a kid. Some of the scariest<br />

and hardest moments of my life happened in a hospital.<br />

But during that time, I was cared for by some great doctors<br />

and nurses. They helped me get through the tough parts,<br />

and it really stuck with me. I knew I wanted to work in health<br />

care so I could also help people.<br />

What has been your career pathway to your current job?<br />

I always knew healthcare was the field for me, but I had a<br />

hard time figuring out where I fit in. I graduated from high<br />

school thinking I wanted to be a retail pharmacist. I started<br />

working as a pharmacy tech while in school, but I felt the job<br />

was a little too repetitive for me. I then considered actuarial<br />

science and wanted to work for a health insurance company.<br />

That also didn’t feel like the right fit. I wanted to help<br />

people. Then I read a job posting for a data analyst at UnityPoint.<br />

Something just clicked. I knew this was the right fit<br />

and UnityPoint was the place to be. I took a pharmacy tech<br />

job within UnityPoint while finishing school, and I used this<br />

time to network, do some job shadowing and build relationships.<br />

After graduating, I accepted my current role and have<br />

loved every minute of it.<br />

Why is healthcare a great career field?<br />

There are so many areas for people with all types of backgrounds.<br />

Outside of the more well-known areas (nursing,<br />

physical therapy, surgery, etc.), there’s dietary services, environmental<br />

services, finance/business, quality and regulatory,<br />

to name a few, which all play crucial roles in how hospitals<br />

operate and affect how patients are treated. It’s truly a team<br />

effort to ensure the best possible care for patients. It is very<br />

rewarding to know the work you do is helping make someone<br />

else’s life better, even if you never meet, see or touch<br />

that person.<br />

22 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR


Why choose a career with<br />

UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids?<br />

As a team member, regardless of your position,<br />

you will have the opportunity to<br />

change lives on a daily basis, delivering on<br />

our vision of Best Outcome for Every Patient<br />

Every Time. That privilege drives employees’<br />

passion for making a difference in the lives<br />

of our patients, helping them create healthier,<br />

more rewarding lives. UnityPoint Health<br />

sets high expectations for team members in<br />

order to establish a trusted team capable of<br />

taking on the toughest of challenges.<br />

Our team members strive to work as one<br />

through four key values:<br />

1. Foster Unity<br />

– We use the skills and abilities of each<br />

person to enable great teams.<br />

– We collaborate across departments,<br />

facilities business units and regions.<br />

– We seek to understand and are open to<br />

diverse thoughts and perspectives.<br />

2. Own the Moment<br />

– We connect with each person treating<br />

them with courtesy, compassion,<br />

empathy and respect.<br />

– We enthusiastically engage in our work.<br />

– We are accountable for our individual<br />

actions and our team performance.<br />

Our Mission: Improving the health<br />

and lives of communities and<br />

patients we serve<br />

Our Vision: Best Outcome Every<br />

Patient Every Time<br />

Our Values: At UnityPoint Health,<br />

we know our collective actions<br />

determine the experience we<br />

create.<br />

3. Champion Excellence<br />

– We commit to the best outcomes and the<br />

highest quality.<br />

– We have a relentless focus on exceeding<br />

expectations.<br />

– We believe in sharing our results,<br />

learning from our mistakes and<br />

celebrating our successes.<br />

– We take responsibility for solving<br />

problems regardless of origin.<br />

4. Seize Opportunity<br />

– We embrace and promote innovation<br />

and transformation.<br />

– We create partnerships that improve care<br />

delivery in our communities.<br />

– We have the courage to challenge the<br />

status quo.<br />

UnityPoint Health team members come for a job, but stay for a career.<br />

When will you begin yours?<br />

Career Opportunities<br />

Our award-winning providers,<br />

specialists and care teams<br />

contribute to our communities,<br />

support patient’s family members<br />

in time of need and make a difference<br />

in the lives of our patients<br />

every day. And they wouldn’t<br />

have it any other way because<br />

that is why they are in this business<br />

in the first place – to care for<br />

others. To us, everything begins<br />

and ends with delivering an<br />

unparalleled health care experience<br />

for our patients. That begins<br />

with a culture that leverages our<br />

most powerful resource – our<br />

team members – who make a difference<br />

on a grand scale across<br />

our organization, regardless of<br />

the role:<br />

Clinical Opportunities<br />

Registered Nurse<br />

Certified Medical Assistant<br />

Home Care Coordination<br />

Hospice and Palliative Care<br />

My UnityPoint Nurse Call Center<br />

Pediatrics<br />

Pharmacy<br />

Laboratory<br />

Advanced Practice<br />

Therapy/Behavioral Health<br />

And More!<br />

Non-Clinical<br />

Administration/Clerical<br />

Billing Office<br />

Environmental Service<br />

Finance and Accounting<br />

Home Medical Equipment<br />

Human Resources<br />

Information Technology<br />

Patient Registration<br />

Procurement, Supply, Distribution<br />

And More!<br />

Come for a<br />

job, stay for<br />

a career.<br />

unitypoint.org/career<br />

<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 23


Teresa Young<br />

Health Psychologist<br />

UnityPoint Health<br />

Cedar Rapids, Iowa<br />

Watch Teresa’s story<br />

youtu.be/njIdiHOsw88<br />

What do you do as a health<br />

psychologist?<br />

My primary role is to see patients who<br />

are struggling with adjustment to a<br />

disability or major traumatic accident.<br />

Other aspects of my work include<br />

running a caregiver support group, cofacilitating<br />

a program for patients with<br />

chronic pain, developing and supervising<br />

a peer support program and seeing<br />

patients before elective surgeries<br />

to maximize a good outcome from the<br />

procedure. The remainder of my time<br />

is spent consulting with our medical<br />

team and serving on hospital-wide<br />

committees to enhance the services<br />

we provide. I love working in a hospital<br />

setting and absorbing the input folks<br />

from different fields contribute.<br />

What gets you excited to go to work<br />

each day?<br />

I feel a strong sense of purpose when<br />

I sit with people during their most difficult<br />

times in life. I get to guide them<br />

toward healthy activities and people.<br />

I derive a lot of meaning and joy from<br />

seeing my patients take action outside<br />

of my office as they adjust to the world<br />

around them and accept themselves<br />

compassionately.<br />

Why did you choose to get into<br />

healthcare?<br />

I think I have a talent for being able to<br />

connect with people when they are at<br />

their most vulnerable. There is such a<br />

high need for mental health providers<br />

and accessible services, and I want to<br />

be part of what meets that need and<br />

advocate for even more.<br />

What did you study in college?<br />

I graduated with a B.A. in psychology<br />

and a minor in Spanish from<br />

Illinois State University, and I stayed<br />

there to complete my M.S. in clinicalcounseling<br />

psychology. After working<br />

in the field for a year, I got my Ph.D. in<br />

counseling psychology from Tennessee<br />

State University.<br />

What has been your career pathway<br />

to your current job?<br />

When I was a senior in college, I received<br />

a lot of support from a mentor<br />

of mine to pursue graduate training.<br />

She encouraged me to consider working<br />

in a clinical field with patients.<br />

After earning my M.S., I worked as a<br />

crisis intervention specialist, evaluating<br />

folks who were suicidal, homicidal<br />

or with chronic mental illness in the<br />

community. During my doctoral training,<br />

I chose a variety of experiences to<br />

find the right fit. I worked at university<br />

counseling centers, conducted<br />

evaluations for children and counseled<br />

veterans of varying age groups and<br />

circumstances.<br />

Some people hear the term “health<br />

care” and think “physician” or<br />

“nurse.” What do you want people<br />

to know to help broaden their outlook<br />

on the field?<br />

Physicians and nurses are, of course,<br />

an integral part of healthcare. But<br />

there is a reason why healthcare has<br />

expanded to include psychologists,<br />

specialists, physical therapists, occupational<br />

therapists, speech pathologists,<br />

social workers, etc. We see better<br />

outcomes when you get all those services<br />

in one place! There are also many<br />

people working “behind the scenes”<br />

in administration, IT, the cafeteria and<br />

gift shop, for example, who keep the<br />

hospital running and going forward.<br />

We need them all.<br />

If someone isn’t sure if healthcare is<br />

the right fit for them, what should<br />

they do to check it out?<br />

First, search healthcare jobs through<br />

a website called O*Net. Once your<br />

options narrow down, contact someone<br />

in that position to connect with<br />

through email or job shadowing.<br />

Health care can be something that<br />

takes getting used to, so volunteering<br />

at a hospital or nursing facility can be a<br />

way to see what one might encounter.<br />

Any other thoughts?<br />

Just that Iowa needs psychologists!<br />

24 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR


Median Hourly Earnings<br />

$21.16<br />

Growth <strong>2019</strong>-2023<br />

Home Health Aides +22%<br />

Nurse Practitioners +12%<br />

Personal Care Aides +12%<br />

Registered Nurses +5%<br />

Physician Assistants +10%<br />

Health Educators +7%<br />

The source of the information above is provided by: Emsi occupation employment data are based on final Emsi industry data and final Emsi staffing patterns. Wage estimates are based on Occupational<br />

Employment Statistics (QCEW and Non-QCEW Employees classes of worker) and the American Community Survey (Self-Employed and Extended Proprietors). Occupational wage estimates also affected<br />

by county-level Emsi earnings by industry.<br />

Innovative Equipment<br />

Talented People<br />

ACP, Inc. is located in SW Cedar Rapids,<br />

and is proud to be the only US manufacturer<br />

of Amana and Menumaster commercial<br />

high-speed and microwave ovens<br />

used in many of your favorite restaurants!<br />

Established in 1969, we are the industry<br />

leader and pioneer of commercial microwave<br />

and speed cooking technology.<br />

225 49th Ave. Dr. SW<br />

Cedar Rapids, IA 52404<br />

Production opportunities<br />

available on 1st and 3rd<br />

shifts including:<br />

Assembly<br />

Welding<br />

(Spot, Projection)<br />

Fabrication<br />

(Press, Press Brakes, Lasers)<br />

Material Handling/Warehouse<br />

Service Parts<br />

(Pick, Pack, Ship)<br />

WHY ACP, INC.?<br />

Competitive compensation<br />

package including bonus<br />

opportunities<br />

Full-time 4-10’s work<br />

schedule (Fridays off)<br />

Fantastic benefits<br />

Advancement opportunities<br />

For more information on current openings, benefits,<br />

apply online or complete an application visit:<br />

www.acpsolutions.com/employment or submit your inquiry<br />

or resume to: careers@acpsolutions.com<br />

EOE<br />

Pre-employment physical and drug screen required<br />

<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 25


Alex McCaslin<br />

Controller<br />

ProCircular<br />

Coralville, Iowa<br />

Watch Alex’s story<br />

youtu.be/e9fxofYNcmE<br />

What do you do as a controller?<br />

The primary functions of the job are to oversee the day-today<br />

accounting functions, month-end reporting, delivery of<br />

accurate financial information to the appropriate parties,<br />

budgeting, maintaining the 260e/260f programs and the<br />

research and preparation of requests for proposals (RFPs). As<br />

a small and growing business, we wear many hats and much<br />

of my job can also fall under the “other duties as assigned.”<br />

I have the opportunity to have my hand in sales, operations,<br />

project management and facilities management.<br />

What gets you excited to head to work each day?<br />

With the variety of the work that needs to be done, no day<br />

is ever the same. Accounting often gets stereotyped as<br />

uneventful or boring, and this led me to look at how I could<br />

help other areas of the business, which has enabled me to<br />

streamline processes and contribute in several different areas.<br />

How did you choose your line of work?<br />

I love working with numbers. I have an analytical personality<br />

and thought process. I took accounting classes starting<br />

in high school when I was trying to figure out what I<br />

wanted to do with my life. I loved the ability to see how the<br />

information came together to tell the story of a business.<br />

Accounting isn’t just crunching numbers – it’s telling a story<br />

of a business.<br />

Where did you go to college?<br />

I have an A.A. from Kirkwood and a bachelor’s in accounting<br />

from Kaplan University.<br />

Is there a challenge you’ve overcome at work that you’re<br />

especially proud of?<br />

The biggest challenge has been starting many things from<br />

scratch. ProCircular was a new company when I joined in<br />

2016, and we’ve had to continuously make improvements.<br />

Everyone’s ability to “learn on the fly” is something I’m<br />

proud of, and we have the growth results to show for it.<br />

Is there something in your work that has surprised you?<br />

A controller or accountant is not always associated with<br />

helping generate revenue for a company. ProCircular knew<br />

that government contracting was an area that could be<br />

crucial for the success of the business. I had never worked<br />

on government contracting and bids/RFPs, and it’s not<br />

generally something you’d find a controller doing. I love<br />

the ability to contribute to the growth of the company, and<br />

this is a way to do so. There’s no greater feeling than when<br />

you win a government bid.<br />

What does it take to be successful in your role?<br />

A person can be successful if they come in with subjectmatter<br />

expertise or industry knowledge. However, what truly<br />

stands out is the ability to adapt to change, foster new experiences<br />

and expand their horizons professionally. I feel that<br />

I’ve succeeded because I’ve worked hard and always sought<br />

out new opportunities to learn all aspects of whatever position<br />

I was in. It was more than just coming in and crunching<br />

numbers; it was a hunger that I wanted to learn more so I<br />

could help the business succeed.<br />

If someone isn’t sure if a finance-related career is right for<br />

them, what should they do to check it out?<br />

The first step is determining if you’re passionate about this<br />

area. If you’re not passionate about it, it becomes much harder<br />

to succeed and stand out. If you’re truly interested in the<br />

field, there are a number of college/university organizations<br />

or clubs that you can get involved in. It also helps to talk to<br />

an adviser who can offer guidance and to speak with several<br />

people within the field about what they enjoy and what they<br />

don’t. Keep in mind that you don’t have to rush and make a<br />

decision. Take your time to think things through.<br />

26 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR


Median Hourly Earnings<br />

Software Developers, Applications $41.63<br />

Web Developer $25.60<br />

Database Administrators $37.98<br />

Computer Programmer $34.72<br />

Network and Computer Systems $35.17<br />

Administrators<br />

The source of the information above is provided by: Emsi occupation employment data are based on final Emsi industry data and final Emsi staffing patterns. Wage estimates are based on Occupational<br />

Employment Statistics (QCEW and Non-QCEW Employees classes of worker) and the American Community Survey (Self-Employed and Extended Proprietors). Occupational wage estimates also affected<br />

by county-level Emsi earnings by industry.<br />


our employees recognize<br />

the importance of community<br />

involvement.<br />

Together, we build stronger<br />

communities.<br />

Kris Ehlinger,<br />

Superintendent<br />

meritconst.com<br />

<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 27


Randall Pugh<br />

Service Desk User<br />

Support Specialist<br />

Collabrance LLC<br />

Cedar Rapids, Iowa<br />

Watch Randall’s story<br />

youtu.be/C3Q-M05VDh8<br />

What do you do as a service desk user support specialist?<br />

I spend roughly 40 percent of my time on inbound calls and chat requests and another 40<br />

percent working on user-submitted and alert tickets. I’m a subject-matter expert for our<br />

image-based backup solution, so a good portion of my tickets are making sure those devices<br />

are functioning properly. The rest of my time is spent writing PowerShell scripts for<br />

task automation projects, assisting other team members with tickets, learning new things<br />

through trainings or self-study and training our new service desk intern.<br />

What does it take to be successful in your role?<br />

Technical expertise and exceptional customer service skills are important, and you need a<br />

little bit of both to be successful because they feed off each other. You also have to be a<br />

good listener. In a way, you need to be a good “translator” of the user’s words to technical<br />

terms and vice versa. Being able to give easy-to-follow steps that don’t use jargon makes<br />

the customer experience a whole lot better. And having a passion to learn is a plus because I<br />

always feel like I’m learning something new.<br />

28 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR

What gets you excited to head to work each day?<br />

I enjoy the challenge of solving difficult problems and<br />

the satisfaction of finding the solution. I like talking<br />

with our customers. It’s pretty easy to strike up a<br />

conversation while working, and you meet all sorts<br />

of people. I also enjoy the task automation projects I<br />

work on. I started with no PowerShell experience before<br />

Collabrance, took it on as a hobby and then was<br />

able to make it into a part of my career. It’s cool that<br />

I can create something that can be impactful to our<br />

organization and it doesn’t even feel like work to me.<br />

Why did you choose the IT field?<br />

Ever since I was little, I have had a passion for computers.<br />

I took Visual Basic and Java programming classes<br />

in high school and built my own computer, picking<br />

each part individually for my build. I was feeling pretty<br />

knowledgeable about computers at that point and<br />

started fixing them for people in my hometown. After<br />

high school, I enrolled at Kirkwood to study computer<br />

science.<br />

Has there been something in your work that has<br />

surprised you?<br />

I never imagined I would have become a subjectmatter<br />

expert for the image-based backup solution we<br />

offer: Datto. Datto offers two certifications – Technical<br />

Specialist I and Technical Specialist II. I completed<br />

both certifications and became the first person from<br />

Collabrance to earn the Tier II certification, leading the<br />

way for others on my team to earn the certification.<br />

Looking back at where I started, it’s wild to reflect on<br />

how much my technical knowledge has grown.<br />

If someone isn’t sure if IT is the right fit for them,<br />

what should they do to check it out?<br />

If programming classes are an option, take them.<br />

Whether you find programming interesting or not,<br />

understanding programming concepts is extremely<br />

helpful for troubleshooting issues. Also, if you have the<br />

ability to build your own computer, you should give it a<br />

try. I built my first computer after reading some guides<br />

on the internet and used the manuals that came with<br />

the parts to put it together. Not only is it rewarding<br />

to do something that seems so complex, but you are<br />

building something you can use for several years with<br />

occasional upgrades. Overall, the IT sector is a great<br />

career to join at any age. It’s a growing field with endless<br />

opportunities for specialization.<br />


Automation Product Specialist<br />




vanmeterinc.com 1-800-247-1410<br />

Everything you need to succeed.<br />

<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 29


What has been your career pathway to your current<br />

job?<br />

While I was working on my degree in diesel truck technology<br />

at Kirkwood, I worked as a detailer, cleaning the<br />

inside and outside of trucks. Once I earned my degree,<br />

I started as a diesel technician. While that is still my official<br />

title, I’ve been able to progress in my career. I’m<br />

continually learning and improving the more I experience<br />

in my job. I’m also required to complete ongoing<br />

training through our original equipment manufacturer<br />

(OEM), which is International and Isuzu. The more training<br />

I complete, the more money I’m able to earn because I can<br />

work on more difficult repairs. Currently, I’m the lead on second<br />

shift. If another diesel technician doesn’t know how to complete<br />

a repair, they come to me and I’m able to help them diagnose it<br />

accurately.<br />

Nick Fisher<br />

Diesel Technician<br />

Thompson Truck and Trailer<br />

Cedar Rapids, Iowa<br />

Watch Nick’s story<br />

youtu.be/G8wbfHBkcDQ<br />

Why Kirkwood?<br />

The diesel truck technology program is short (18 months), so I<br />

could learn what I needed quickly and then get back to working.<br />

And as a student, I had access to tools at 50 percent off because<br />

Kirkwood partners with tool retailers to provide students a discount<br />

to get started.<br />

What kind of advancement opportunities are there within<br />

the industry?<br />

As a diesel technician, you can get certified in many different<br />

brands of trucks, different engines, transmissions, etc. The more<br />

you know, the more opportunities you have. There are a lot of<br />

other jobs you can transition to as well. You’ll still utilize the<br />

knowledge gained as a diesel technician, but you’ll be<br />

doing different things with it: shift manager, truck sales,<br />

parts specialist, warranty, truck leasing, service writer,<br />

fleet manager. You can even open and run your own<br />

repair shop.<br />

Speaking of different brands, how do you keep current<br />

on what’s new within the industry?<br />

Training is a continual process. There are hours of<br />

videos to watch, followed by quizzes. Our OEMs are always<br />

updating their truck models and correcting issues,<br />

so new information and training is constantly posted. I<br />

always try to stay up to date on my training because it<br />

ultimately helps me be successful in my job.<br />

What do you find especially rewarding about your<br />

job?<br />

The problem-solving is rewarding. I often see trucks<br />

I’ve worked on driving down the road.<br />

What do you do as a diesel technician?<br />

I diagnose and repair trucks. We generally only work<br />

on the cab of a semi where the mechanical, electrical,<br />

steering and suspension work is located.<br />

What gets you excited to head to work each day?<br />

I’m excited to see what’s in the shop that needs repaired.<br />

I don’t know what I’ll be working on until I get<br />

there, so it’s always something new.<br />

Has anything in your work surprised you?<br />

Knowing how to program, reprogram and update different computers<br />

in the truck. You usually think of a mechanic job as dirty<br />

and manual labor only, but there is so much technology involved<br />

in semis now, and we’re the ones required to know how to use it<br />

and program it.<br />

What personal and professional skills are needed to be successful<br />

in this industry?<br />

Problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, communication and<br />

patience. Also, you need to know how to use a computer well,<br />

including how to research and find the information needed to<br />

then go fix a truck.<br />

If someone isn’t sure if the transportation industry is the right<br />

fit, what should they do to check it out?<br />

There are a ton of videos online you can watch to get a sense of<br />

what the job requires and what the environment of a shop is like.<br />

The state of Iowa is known for the number of trucking companies located<br />

here. There’s always a transportation company hiring for roles<br />

such as mine or others in this field.<br />

30 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR


Transportation Workers, 9% growth from<br />

<strong>2019</strong>-2023<br />

Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators, 6%<br />

growth from <strong>2019</strong>-2023<br />

In <strong>2019</strong>, there are 16,053 jobs in the ICR<br />

Region, 37% above the national average<br />

Median Hourly Earnings<br />

$18.14<br />

The source of the information above is provided by: Emsi occupation employment data are based on final Emsi industry data and final Emsi staffing patterns. Wage estimates are based on Occupational<br />

Employment Statistics (QCEW and Non-QCEW Employees classes of worker) and the American Community Survey (Self-Employed and Extended Proprietors). Occupational wage estimates also affected<br />

by county-level Emsi earnings by industry.<br />


If you are interested in learning more about the ICR<br />

Sector Boards, or want to become an employer<br />

board member, please contact:<br />

Architecture Construction and Engineering (ACE)<br />

Kylie.Gudenkauf@Kirkwood.edu<br />

Advanced Manufacturing<br />

Barbara.Rawson@Kirkwood.edu<br />

Financial Services<br />

Judy.Stoffel@Kirkwood.edu<br />

Healthcare<br />

Judy.Stoffel@Kirkwood.edu<br />

Information Technologies<br />

Gary.Vogt@Kirkwood.edu<br />

people<br />

Our<br />

make us<br />

better!<br />

Ryan Dalziel was named<br />

Honorable Mention from the<br />

Transportation and Logistics<br />

sector board.<br />

Congratulations Ryan!<br />

Transportation, Logistics<br />

Ashley.Grimm@Kirkwood.edu<br />

<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 31


Lewis Minehart<br />

ICON Program:<br />

Independent Contractor<br />

Don Hummer Trucking<br />

Cedar Rapids, Iowa<br />

Watch Lewis’ story<br />

youtu.be/9TJyy0MJTYo<br />

What do you do as an independent contractor?<br />

I really have two jobs. First, as a truck driver, I regularly inspect<br />

my truck and trailer to ensure all the equipment can be<br />

operated safely. The other important part of being a driver is<br />

to safely arrive at my appointments in a timely manner with<br />

everything intact. Of course, there is a lot more involved<br />

when it comes to safely operating an 80,000-pound vehicle,<br />

but at the end of the day, it really is that simple. The second<br />

part of my job is managing my truck, which includes things<br />

like scheduling maintenance, ensuring compliance, monitoring<br />

costs and revenue. This involves all the details on the<br />

business side of trucking that keep you running profitably.<br />

Why did you choose to get into the trucking industry?<br />

After serving eight years in the Marine Corps, I was honorably<br />

discharged in 2011. I had saved up some money while<br />

in the service but didn’t really have a plan for my future. I<br />

spent the next few years contemplating what I should do<br />

next. I did some construction work, some welding, attended<br />

college for a couple years and tried working security, but<br />

nothing ever felt right. In the back of my mind I was always<br />

curious about truck driving. I had no driving experience, but<br />

my dad was a truck driver in the ’80s and always told my<br />

younger brother and me interesting stories from his time on<br />

the road. I decided to look into becoming a truck driver and<br />

went to Kirkwood to obtain my commercial driver’s license<br />

(CDL). I thought I’d give it a shot and if nothing else, I’d at<br />

least end up with a few good stories of my own, but I ended<br />

up falling in love with it.<br />

What has been your career path after receiving your CDL?<br />

I graduated from Kirkwood’s professional driving program<br />

in 2016. One of my Kirkwood instructors helped me get my<br />

first job in Cedar Rapids. At the time I had a dog at home<br />

and couldn’t do “over the road,” so I drove a dump truck<br />

for about a year in order to be home daily. It was a blessing<br />

and a curse; I was home every night, but I also worked 18-<br />

hour days. After my dog passed away, I figured it was time<br />

to use my license for the reason I got it: to drive big trucks.<br />

I applied with Hummer because of the reputation they have<br />

for being committed to their drivers. For the next year I<br />

scrimped and saved every penny, and by the end of my first<br />

year with Hummer, I had saved enough money to buy my<br />

own truck. I decided to lease that truck on with Hummer.<br />

The company really went out of their way to help me get<br />

into the industry, actually negotiating with third parties at<br />

times on my behalf. I’ve been operating my own truck for<br />

the last year and have no regrets.<br />

What advice would you give to people who want to get<br />

into the transportation industry?<br />

There is no other career which costs so little to get into that<br />

will have you making this much money in a short period of<br />

time without incurring debt. When you’re just starting out,<br />

pick a company that will treat you right. Talk to other drivers<br />

to get a feel for a company’s atmosphere. The state of Iowa<br />

subsidizes a training course through Kirkwood for certain<br />

circumstances, and military veterans can apply their benefits<br />

toward driving programs. Research as many of these options<br />

as you can to see what’s right for you. The great thing about<br />

trucking is that you decide how much or how little you work:<br />

work more, get paid more; work less, get paid less. You<br />

decide the level of your success. <strong>All</strong> it takes is a little bit of<br />

effort and some serious determination.<br />

32 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR


Customize Your Career<br />

with Don Hummer Trucking<br />

At Don Hummer Trucking, we understand what it means to be driven. When<br />

Lewis Minehart was considering joining Hummer through our Driving Forward<br />

and Heroes to Hummer training programs, it was clear that his goal was to end<br />

up in our ICON: Independent Contractor program.<br />

Before making the transition to independent contractor, Lewis worked<br />

closely with our team to get a better understanding of our industry and all<br />

its moving parts. Through his own determination – and a little help from<br />

our crew – Lewis went from trainee to Independent Contractor in just under<br />

three years. We couldn’t be prouder to see him representing Don Hummer<br />

Trucking!<br />

A Great Career Starts with Great Training & Mentors<br />

Whether you’re fresh out of school or an experienced professional looking<br />

for a change, Hummer offers the support and guidance to steer your career<br />

in the right direction.<br />

Driving Forward – Our training program for new drivers helps you<br />

learn the ropes alongside our experienced trainers.<br />

Heroes to Hummer – Our VA-approved apprenticeship program for<br />

veterans and active reservists helps new drivers use skills they learned in<br />

the military to transition into a rewarding civilian career.<br />

Ongoing Support – The support you receive at Hummer doesn’t end<br />

when your training does. You’ll stay connected to our training team<br />

who can answer questions and offer career advice. Even when you’re<br />

driving solo — you’re never on your own at Hummer.<br />

Non-driving Jobs – Drivers are the backbone of our company and our<br />

industry, but they can’t do it alone. Driver and customer support positions<br />

are also available and include tractor and trailer technicians, driver managers,<br />

driver recruiters and additional office support.<br />

Don Hummer Trucking Benefits<br />

- Driver trainees are salaried and eligible<br />

for full benefits<br />

- Excellent pay + regular bonus potential<br />

- Raises as you gain experience<br />

- Standardized home time policy gets you<br />

home when it matters<br />

- Affordable medical, dental, vision and<br />

disability insurance<br />

- Save for retirement with 401(K) + company<br />

match<br />

- Pet friendly – take your dog on the road<br />

Career Opportunities Available Now<br />

- 12 Nights Out – Explore the country<br />

as you rack up miles. A great fit for<br />

drivers who want maximum miles and<br />

bi-weekly hometime.<br />

- 5 Nights Out – Perfect for drivers<br />

who like consistency and need regular<br />

hometime.<br />

- Team Drivers – Share the drive with a<br />

friend or spouse.<br />

- Independent Contractor – Our ICON<br />

Program allows experienced contractors<br />

to operate within our network.<br />

Check out all the career opportunities<br />

in transportation by visiting<br />

donhummertrucking.com<br />

(888) 323-6115<br />

Don Hummer Trucking Salutes<br />


AND THE <strong>2019</strong> CBJ ALL STARS<br />

donhummertrucking.com<br />

888-323-6115<br />

Congratulations to Lewis Minehart, Independent Contractor for<br />

Don Hummer Trucking, and all <strong>2019</strong> CBJ <strong>All</strong> <strong>Stars</strong>. We’re proud<br />

of our drivers like Lewis, and all Hummer employees, who put<br />

their talents to work in the ICR Corridor.<br />

<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 33

Reach For Potential House Project<br />



In June 2018, five Kirkwood Community College<br />

and high school students embarked on the Greater<br />

Iowa City Home Builders Association’s initial<br />

summer Vocational Training Program. Through the<br />

program, the students constructed a 2,339-squarefoot<br />

house in Iowa City.<br />

Pallavi Gopalakrishna<br />

Student, Kirkwood Community College<br />

Cullen Klebe<br />

Student, Highland High School, Riverside*<br />

Jake Nietfeldt<br />

Student, Durant High School, Durant<br />

George Marcy<br />

Student, Solon High School, Solon<br />

Lia Weiner<br />

Student, Iowa City West High School, Iowa City<br />

What did the five of you accomplish?<br />

JAKE NIETFELDT: A group of us, ranging from a junior in<br />

high school to a 38-year-old Kirkwood student, built a house<br />

through the Iowa City Home Builders Association for Reach<br />

For Your Potential, which houses adults with disabilities that<br />

need 24/7 care. The house was Americans with Disabilities Act<br />

(ADA)-approved, making it 100 percent handicap accessible.<br />

PALLAVI GOPALAKRISHNA: Under the constant support and<br />

impeccable guidance of Tim Rouse, starting from how the<br />

building permit was obtained to the housewarming ceremony,<br />

from digging to building, from using hands to using machines,<br />

we were laid out the opportunity to learn and build the home.<br />

A confidence that came from trusting a group of students to<br />

deliver a live product was a boost to my self-confidence.<br />

CULLEN KLEBE: Everyone worked on various things. I helped<br />

put the foam board along the footings and tie rebar together<br />

for the concrete slab. I helped frame, helped put the roof on,<br />

helped side the house and all sorts of other fun stuff. Our first<br />

day working on the site was June 12 and we had the house<br />

showing on Sept. 1.<br />

How did you and your team members get connected,<br />

especially since you’re from different schools?<br />

Cullen Klebe and Jake Nietfeldt are two of the five Junior <strong>All</strong> <strong>Stars</strong><br />

winners.<br />

JAKE: The opportunity was offered to me by my high school<br />

shop teacher, Mr. Tim Rouse. He was told about it by Joe<br />

Greathouse, associate professor of construction management<br />

at Kirkwood.<br />

PALLAVI: I was also told about the project by Joe Greathouse.<br />

(I’m an architectural technology student.) Prior to attending<br />

Kirkwood, I had completed my bachelor’s in architecture studies<br />

in India before following my husband to the United States.<br />

CULLEN: I found out about it through my boss at McCreedy-<br />

Ruth Construction, Tim Ruth. He mentioned that we were<br />

going to start a new student-built house and that I should take<br />

part. I signed up for the project, signed up to have it be used<br />

as my summer internship for Kirkwood and off things went.<br />

Has Kirkwood been a good choice for you?<br />

PALLAVI: Yes. I chose Kirkwood because it has the courses I<br />

was looking for, and when I approached the faculty, they gave<br />

me all the attention I needed, listened to me and guided me.<br />

What appealed to you about the housebuilding project?<br />

JAKE: I have an interest in the trades and this helped me get<br />

my foot in the door. It also appealed to me because of who<br />

we were building it for.<br />

PALLAVI: With great communication from the start of the project<br />

until the end, every person who contributed had a noble,<br />

yet humble, thought in their minds, be it the design team,<br />

various consultants, banks, etc. The one cause in mind was the<br />

community support and reassurance of faith in humankind.<br />

CULLEN: I started working for McCreedy-Ruth Construction<br />

in the summer of 2017, so I wasn’t too experienced when I<br />

started working on the Reach house. I want to be a framer and<br />

I saw an opportunity to do that.<br />

34 <strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR

What did you find especially rewarding about the project?<br />

JAKE: The happiness we gave those four adults who had not<br />

gotten to experience their own home to have, in a way, their own<br />

home. (They will always live in a supervised home.) The happiness<br />

that they expressed at the ribbon-cutting spoke for itself.<br />

PALLAVI: The smiles of the homeowners on the housewarming<br />

day! That was a heartwarming reward.<br />

CULLEN: Seeing the final product. I worked on the house from<br />

when they poured the foundation until the nail holes were<br />

filled, so I was fortunate enough to see the project all the way<br />

through. To see the people’s faces who were going to be living<br />

in the house was priceless. They thanked us and hugged us, but<br />

the best part was seeing how happy they were and how great<br />

the house turned out.<br />

Did you face challenges while building the house?<br />

JAKE: For most of us, this was our first time building a house,<br />

so we didn’t know what to do. My teacher, Mr. Rouse, and Tim<br />

Ruth from McCreedy-Ruth Construction did a wonderful job<br />

of helping us and not getting frustrated with us! They were<br />

wonderful mentors. The other challenge we faced was the<br />

weather. We had a few rainy days and we had a lot of superhot<br />

days – we were sheeting the roof on one of the hottest<br />

days of the summer.<br />

CULLEN: The biggest challenge we faced had to be our inexperience,<br />

even my own. We were all learning new things as the<br />

job went on and we just had to face it.<br />

If someone isn’t sure if construction is the right fit, what<br />

should they do to check it out?<br />

JAKE: Do research on it and look for things such as a studentbuilt<br />

home in your community or in a community around you.<br />

Do a job shadow or talk to someone in the trades. Just give it a<br />

shot. If you don’t like it, then you can back out.<br />

PALLAVI: Being in the construction field is like a banquet every<br />

day because there are numerous things going on at one place:<br />

learning engineering, managing social and economic conditions,<br />

team and time coordination, planning and much more.<br />

Having a roof over your head is a satisfying feeling. Being able<br />

to be in an industry that helps provide one is even better.<br />

Watch Reach For Your<br />

Potential House Project story<br />

youtu.be/wo43fUELVHM<br />

CULLEN: Talk to a teacher<br />

or your guidance counselor<br />

and see if there are job<br />

shadow opportunities you<br />

can try. Go out and see if<br />

you really want to do this,<br />

and if you don’t, that is perfectly<br />

fine. This line of work<br />

is not for everyone, but if you do want to do construction and<br />

you are sure of it, now is a great time to get into the trade – any<br />

trade for that matter. Be prepared to work hard, and don’t be<br />

afraid to get after it. Be a go-getter, be energetic and excited<br />

to learn and people will want to teach you. Everyone will make<br />

mistakes, but that’s how you learn.<br />

*Cullen graduated in 2018 and is now a construction management<br />

student at Kirkwood.<br />



Elisha Sir-Louis<br />

Student, Mid-Prairie Home School<br />

Assistance Program<br />

Kirkwood Advanced Manufacturing/<br />

Engineering Technology & Welding Career<br />

Academy, Kirkwood Regional Center at the<br />

University of Iowa<br />

Why did you choose<br />

to participate in<br />

Kirkwood’s advanced<br />

manufacturing academy<br />

experience?<br />

The opportunity to attend<br />

a college course<br />

free of charge while still<br />

in high school and gain<br />

life experience in a field<br />

that is in high demand right now was an experience<br />

I couldn’t pass up. The advanced manufacturing<br />

and welding classes intrigued me. I realized<br />

I was gaining an experience few get at my age.<br />

And it taught me what it means to be in the environment<br />

of a job mindset.<br />

Share some details about your academy<br />

experience.<br />

I am currently enrolled in Kirkwood’s advanced<br />

manufacturing program, which is a yearlong commitment.<br />

We are studying CNC lathe, CNC mill,<br />

press brake and different forms of welding. Last<br />

summer I had an internship through Kirkwood’s<br />

Workplace Learning Connection, which is a program<br />

for high schoolers to experience on-the-job<br />

training and explore different job opportunities.<br />

I did my internship with Open Gates Group, a<br />

small-town milk and dairy company that had an<br />

internship for an apprentice welder. That was the<br />

first encounter I had with a welding job.<br />

If someone isn’t sure if manufacturing is right<br />

for them, what should they do to check it out?<br />

If you’re interested in advanced manufacturing,<br />

welding, CNC or other machines used in a<br />

manufacturing setting, there are demo days held<br />

at the regional center that you can attend to get<br />

a glimpse into the manufacturing world. You are<br />

able to use the virtual welders and possibly see<br />

the machines at work during the demo day. The<br />

advanced manufacturing curriculum is great for<br />

those who want to work with their hands and see<br />

some sparks fly. The classroom and bookwork are<br />

really easy to understand, along with the lectures.<br />

<strong>2019</strong> ALL STARS of ICR 35

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