This past summer, I spent time broadening my horizons through participation in the “Work Based Learning-Counselors in Industry” internship through the Indiana Department of Education. This internship project was an exciting opportunity to gain valuable industry knowledge that can be passed along to students in regards to job opportunities available, training, apprenticeship programs and certifications needed to gain meaningful employment in high-demand fields in the Fort Wayne area.
The two areas in which I focused my efforts were in the manufacturing and construction trades careers. I and a fellow counselor, Jana Gepfert, visited several local companies gathering information about the skills and competencies needed to perform on-the-job responsibilities, obtain the proper training, and the certifications and college courses needed to become employable in such careers as Electrician, Plumber, CNC Machine Operator, Welder and Carpenter, just to name a few.
I learned so much and was so thankful to connect with business professionals who were amazingly generous with their time and a passion for their fields.
Through the Gateway Coalition of Northeast Indiana and the help of Mark Webb (school board president), we were able to visit nine local companies: Korte Does it All Inc, (host CLHS parent, Kevin Kratzman), Fort Wayne Metals (host, Bruce Watson), Precise Manufacturing (host, John Whitcraft), Classic Stone and Marble (host, Mike Sorg), Mike Gepfert Homes (host, CLHS parent Mike Gepfert), Jensen Cabinets (host, CLHS parent Brian Robertson), Pipe and Steamfitters Local 166 (host, Chris Brown), Weigand Construction (host, Jade Painter), and Quik Cut Inc (host CLHS parent, Mark Webb)
Manufacturing and Construction Trades career brochures were created as a resource for such opportunities as Electrician Apprenticeships, HVAC Apprenticeships, Welding Apprenticeship, Carpentry, Masonry, Machinist, and Industrial Engineers so that students can obtain easily obtain information on these careers.
I look forward to passing this information along to students!