News & Information
Lyon County Students learn about Local Career Opportunities
January 30, 2017
Freshman and sophomore students spend time with Lyon County business professionals at Career Exploration Day.

County Career Exploration Day provided 316 freshman and sophomore students with an opportunity to learn about career opportunities and education needs from Lyon County business professionals. The event for students from Central Lyon, George-Little Rock and West Lyon Community Schools, along with Ellsworth, MN, Public School was held in Rock Rapids on Friday, January 27, at the Forster Community Center and other nearby locations.

Tyler Starr, George-Little Rock graduate and NFL football player; Jennifer Dukes Lee, author, blogger and professional speaker from Inwood; and Dr. Cody Hoefert, owner of Lyon County Chiropractic in Rock Rapids, kicked off the program speaking to the students about their stories of career choices, education, and the benefits of living and working in Lyon County, along with insights into the working world.

Tyler Starr encouraged the students to pay attention to the “brand” they create for themselves. “Each person is responsible for their personal “brand” and that includes what they do, how they act and how they treat others. Set goals that will get you to where you want to be, and follow through.” Starr said. “Work hard in school, take classes that will help you after you leave high school and make good choices.”

According to Steve Simons, Lyon County Economic Development Director, the goal of Career Exploration Day is to give students the opportunity to hear about careers in Lyon County from local business professionals. Then, he explained, the students can utilize the career and education information they receive and combine it with their personal interests and goals to create an education and career plan for a successful future.

Freshman and sophomore students were selected for Career Exploration Day to assist them as they select their remaining high school coursework and learn about career opportunities in Lyon County, according to George-Little Rock Guidance Counselor Dan Helkenn. “Our world of work is changing, and in this new economy, employers want to know what you can do, what you can do well and not just what degree hangs on your wall. Understanding the demand for a career or trade, its educational requirements, the cost of that education, and wage and growth potential of that career is very important for young adults and their parents to consider.”

“As an economic developer, working with guidance counselors Jessica Harman (CL), Dan Helkenn (GLR), Kim Mulder (WL) and their school administrations on this project for Lyon County students was exciting,” Simons said. “Add to that the 32 business professionals who shared their time and experience with the students and 45 volunteers who made Career Exploration Day run smoothly from start to finish. It is a very rewarding experience.” Members of the Career Exploration Day Committee are Helkenn, Mulder, Harman, Simons, Micah Freese – Rock Rapids Development Corporation, Laura Beyenhof - Lyon County ISU Extension, Tina Sherrill-Range – George-Little Rock High School, and Donna Ascherl – Northwest Iowa Community College.

Lyon County businesses and business professionals participating and their career category included Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort (Hospitality and Tourism), Rocket Hog, Cooperative Energy Company, K101 Radio (Arts and Audio Visual), DRG Mechanical and Denekas Electric (Building Trades), Calico Skies Winery and Jennifer Dukes-Lee (Business/Entrepreneur), Lyon County Chiropractic, Murphy Family Dentistry and Sanford Health (Health Sciences), Cooperative Farmers Elevator (Agriculture), Sudenga Industries and Maintainer Custom Bodies (Manufacturing), Lyon County Sheriff, Seasons Center for Behavioral Health and Austin, Haberkorn, Kippley and Wippert (Social Sciences), Frontier Bank (Finance), and DGR Engineering and Lyon County Engineer’s Office (Engineering and Surveying).

The program was sponsored by Lyon County Economic Development and Rock Rapids Development Corporation in partnership with the George-Little Rock, Central Lyon and West Lyon Community Schools, Northwest Iowa Community College, Lyon County ISU Extension Council and the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation.