Northeast Iowa Career Learning Link Benefits Students and Employers

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The Northeast Iowa Career Learning Link (CLL) program offers numerous benefits for high school juniors and seniors and, at the same time, helps employers make authentic, local and grassroots connections with students in the community.

Students such as Ethan Uhrig had a head start on determining what type of career was the right fit after his job shadows. As a CLL participant, Uhrig started to explore his favorite career fields, including diesel mechanics, welding and auto mechanics. He learned more about diesel mechanics at McDowell Repair, Inc., gained insights into welding at Henderson Products, Inc. and explored auto mechanics with Runde
Auto Group.

In fact, these job shadows not only helped Uhrig secure a part-time job at McDowell Repair, career professionals and employers who participate in CLL also gain from the experience.

“I enjoyed my time with Ethan and learned as much from him as he did from me,” stated Richard McDowell, owner.

Healthcare providers who offer tours of their operations contribute to students’ learning and career preparedness. Both students and employers make valuable connections.

Elly Lensch, M.L.S., the staff development coordinator for Winneshiek Medical Center Education Department, looks forward to the tours and job shadowing experiences available through CLL and the College.

“Winneshiek Medical Center has offered job shadows, tours, and experiential learning to students across the area for decades. Because experience is one of the key methods of learning used in health care, it was a natural fit to partner with the Career Learning Link to continue offering these experiences,” Lensch expressed. “Our collaboration with the Career Learning Link is important because it gives us the opportunity to connect with the bright and dedicated youth in the area who may one day become our employees.”

Regional Medical Center in Manchester and its healthcare professionals offer tremendous insights into the medical field for students, yet also gain important takeaways from their participation in CLL, according to Joan Funke, M.P.A., human resources director.

“We have engaged with the Northeast Iowa Career Learning Link to offer students the ability to job shadow and observe current careers within our facility. These experiences are beneficial to both the student and our organization in gaining insight into healthcare careers and the incoming generation of the workforce,” Funke said.

Employers have a unique opportunity to engage with their future workforce through the CLL program at the College. Want to learn how you can represent your company by offering tours, job shadows, mentoring, work-based learning activities or being a guest speaker? Complete the CLL Business Partnerships Form at

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