Career Experience Statistics Prove Support

Career Experience Statistics Prove Support
Posted on 05/31/2017
Career Experiences

To say Spencer Community School District is part of an amazing community and region would be an understatement.  With another school year in the books, statistics are being gathered, and the proof of support by the community, and beyond, is in the numbers.  When Liz Kluver, SHS Career Coordinator, started the Extended Career Experience (ECE) program, a partnership with the STEM BEST® Program and the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, she had grand plans, and because of the support for each area, including Manufacturing, Construction, Automotive, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality, Health Sciences and Music/Theatre, those plans are coming to fruition and even exceeding Kluver’s expectations.  For the 2016-17 school year, 25 students participated in at least one of the seven, semester-long ECEs, designed to provide students with hands on work experiences and assist in developing social, academic and personal skills, in a career area of their choice.  Each ECE is unique, and the experiences gained were truly beyond measure.  "The community support in Spencer and surrounding areas is amazing.  I am overwhelmed by the continued support and willingness for businesses to open their doors for student experiences, allowing the Careers Programming at SHS to grow and students the opportunity to learn," said Kluver.

In addition to the ECEs, Kluver connects with community partners to provide Career Experiences (CE), which are short trips to various locations throughout the area, giving students a glimpse of career opportunities available.  Partners also come to the school to visit with students, and follow up visits to shadow for a longer period of time are usually an option for a more in-depth experience. During the school year, there were 42 CEs, and 816 sophomores, juniors and seniors participated.  As a result of the CEs, 91 students completed job shadows. 

For better insight of the experiences during the ECEs, a small sampling of blogs completed by the students are listed below, and the full collection can be viewed at: https://sites.google.com/spencerschools.org/eceblogs/home.

Manufacturing: Trent Chinn
The Manufacturing Academy class through the Spencer High School spent one month at Maurer Manufacturing. Lacy Enderson the Human Resource Manager worked very hard for us, students to get the best manufacturing experience we could in our allowed time and it was great!

We were at Maurer Manufacturing from January 30th to March 2nd. We had a total of 18 days and of the 18 days we had hands on activity 17 or the 18 days.  The first day we watched mandatory orientation and safety videos.  We then completed quizzes on all of the subjects. On the Second day we finished up our Safety Orientation and started our Plant Tour.  We were introduced to Shawn Smith who gave each student forklift training.  We then went on a plant tour to round out our second day at Maurer’s.  The first two days of my rotation was working with Dereck Grapler in the Fabrication Department. We worked on the Brake Press and the Co2 Laser. The two days following I worked in the Weld Department with Shawn Smith. I welded on a Gondola Trailer both days. My next department was the Paint Department with Mike Tjebben, this was only one day and we watched them paint various trailers. Next, I was in another one day Department, and that was Engineering. We worked with SolidWorks and went through tutorials.  I then went to the Finish Department with Joe Hinton for two days. We wired up trailers, rotated wheels and tires, and added graphics. My second to last Department was the Aluminum Department with Kyle Krager. We assembled Grain Hoppers, Step Ladders, and welded Aluminum Steps. My last Department was the Warehouse with Levi.  For the last week at Maurer we were able to choose what Department or Departments we would like to spend more time in. I choose to work in the Aluminum Department with Kyle and assembled more Grain Hoppers and welded some more steps.

My overall experience at Maurer Manufacturing was great. This was a great experience and eye opener about the Manufacturing Industry.

Hospitality: Lexie Nissen
Hello my name is Lexie Nissen. This week I am finishing my final rotation in the hospitality extended career experience. For the past few weeks I’ve been at Boulder’s Inn and Suites and can’t believe how fast the time has went. At Boulder’s I’ve worked with the manager, assisted housekeeping, prepared for arrivals/check outs and helped with a couple of marketing projects. I have learned the importance of good communication, providing excellent customer service, being organized, and quality.

During this time I have enjoyed feeling like part of a team that is making a difference for the guests and the opportunities that this rotation has provided. What has surprised me the most has been learning how each rotation has been completely different. In closing of my blog, I once again find myself feeling thankful that I was given the opportunity to job shadow all of my sites. These businesses have welcomed me, trained me, and provided me with the opportunity to gain both knowledge and experience of the industry that I can use in the future and for that I will be forever grateful.

Entrepreneurship: Brandi Botcher
Hello, I am Brandi and I am in the entrepreneurship ECE. This was our last week of the course. We finished the readings and also continued to work on our business plans. We really just working on making a rough draft of the business plan and we can edit them along the way.

This course is very enjoyable and I learned a lot. This course really helped me to decide that I want to be a business owner. The ECE helped to better my knowledge on everything I need to know in order to open a business. I definitely recommend the next class of seniors thinks about taking this course.  

Automotive: Andrew Faulkner
This week I was at Vanderhaags. I have only worked with the dismantle process. We take apart trucks to sell the parts to make a profit. This week I have learned the process and all the work that goes into dismantling.

I enjoy the person that I have been working with. He shows me what to do and explains how and gives examples on what to do. I was surprised how easy it is once I got the hang of it. I was surprised how fast things work.

Construction: Merrick Oleson
For this past couple weeks Caleb and I have been working with Christians Sheet Metal. On our first few days we were at the shop. There we learned all about heating and air-conditioning units. We also got to learn how to solder with a heated rod, it was a little different than what we are used to with just a torch. 

After those first couple days we started going on service calls, some were for residential areas, others were just schedule maintenance for businesses. Most that we went on were scheduled maintenance or exchanging filters, since it is their slow season. I learned a lot HVAC and all that is involved.

Health Sciences: Makenzie Folsom
I cannot believe the semester is already over and I am graduating! The last few experiences I was able to have were absolutely amazing. A couple Tuesday’s ago, I had the opportunity to job shadow Med Surg, OB, and OR. In the morning, while in Med Surg, I followed a nurse around to attend to her patients for that day. After spending half my morning in Med Surg, I was moved down to shadow in OB. When I first arrived, the nurse told me they were having a slow day and I probably won’t get to see much, but I was alright with that because I had multiple questions for the nurses. About 20 minutes into my job shadow a woman came in who was in labor. I was immediately excited because I have been thinking about going to school so I could be an OB nurse. I was informed that I probably would be gone by the time the woman gave birth. Before I knew it the woman was about to give birth and gave the nurses consent for me to be in the room! Watching a delivery definitely helped my decision to go into OB. In the afternoon, I was able to watch surgeries. First, I watched a hip replacement which was pretty cool, but I was not able to see much. After the hip replacement, I went into another surgery and it was a total knee replacement! I was excited to hear all the anatomical terms being used in the operating room because I have taken Anatomy and Physiology with Mr. Munson at the high school.

Just last Tuesday the Health Science ECE kids were able to take a tour of the Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. It was amazing and their facility is absolutely breathtaking. First, we toured Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT). I was amazed by the machines they use in both areas. Secondly, we toured radiology. We were able to look at a MRI of a man’s brain and all the fluid moving around! Again, I was extremely excited because I knew all the terms being told to us because of anatomy. We also got to see the CT scan room and the x-ray room. Next, we traveled to the pharmacy which was almost like a large lab. Inside we learned about different medications and how their robot works within the pharmacy itself. Lastly, we went to ER. In ER we met with a flight paramedic who showed us the helicopter they use for emergency calls.

Overall, I have had wonderful, outstanding experiences through the Health Science Extended Career Experience and am excited to see what my future will bring!

Music and Theatre: Lauren Boyd
Thank you to everyone who attended “The Roads Not Taken”! We had a great turnout. Since I blogged last, we had techweek where we had a run through and dress rehearsal. As most dress rehearsals go, it was a little rough because it was the first time we put almost everything together. There were some lighting transitions we just had to iron out and a few staging things that needed to be fixed.

The remainder of the week we spent getting all needed items for the reception, getting props and set from SCT and other various locations, and printing and folding programs. After the dress rehearsal, I was feeling pretty confident about the show.  On Friday, I spent almost all day preparing finishing touches such as setting the stage with the plants we got from Del’s, fabric and burlap, and suitcases from SCT. We also went to HyVee to get cupcakes. Lastly, I prepared the dressing room and finished folding programs. The recital on Friday ran so smoothly and I enjoyed being able to sit back and watch and doing very minimal running.

Since the recital, I have been busy making sure everything was returned to the proper owner, making sure all of the paperwork was filled out so my artists could get paid, and writing thank you’s. The last few days of my ECE will be spent preparing for events I have upcoming this summer.


This ECE has been an incredible learning opportunity for me and I have learned so much about the producing and directing side of an event that I will carry with me into the future.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2017 West Corporation. All rights reserved.