NICC, Economic Development and Education Partners hold Career Workshop at Waukon High School

Northeast Iowa Community College, Allamakee County Economic Development, Waukon High School and other Education Partners teamed up to present a Career Workshop attended by more than 200 Waukon High School junior and senior students February 12. Pictured above at right, Tyler Halverson, co-owner of EpicWear in Waukon, is speaking to a group of students about small business opportunities. Pictured below at right, Sarah Egan, Director of Nursing for Good Samaritan Society-Waukon, is speaking to a group of students about careers in healthcare. Submitted photos.

Finding a rewarding, well-paying and family-sustaining career in life starts with a plan.
This was the motivation that inspired a recent Career Workshop event at Waukon High School February 12, which was developed in partnership between Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC), Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) and Waukon High School.
Approximately 200 Waukon High School juniors and seniors spent the morning learning about high-demand employment opportunities, the education and training each job requires, and the salary and benefits employees can expect to earn. Local economic development leaders, such as Val Reinke, Executive Director of Allamakee County Economic Development & Tourism, believe that the event served as an important forum for students to learn from the successes of small business owners.
“This career workshop was a great opportunity to showcase viable career paths right here in Allamakee County. The collaborative effort between NICC, Waukon High School and ACED provided a valuable workshop. On the day of event, I moderated the small business group. Local small business owners Paul Weighner, of WW Homestead Dairy, and Tyler Halverson, of Epic Wear, shared their stories with approximately 100 students,” explained Reinke. “I really hope the participants went home and told their families about what they heard. We need to get the word out - Allamakee County is a great place to live, work and play.”
The workshop offered five different career tracks for the students to explore, including agriculture, health, advanced manufacturing, tourism/small business, and construction. Students selected two tracks to attend based on their career interests, and business leaders representing the career areas shared insights on their respective professions.
Waukon High School administrators and educators, as well as guidance counselors who work one-on-one with students, emphasized the importance of introducing juniors and seniors to local careers.
“The Career Workshop was a great way to introduce our students to area businesses and the potential job opportunities they could have in the future. The event helped to get students thinking about careers that may be available in their own backyards,” said Amy Wasson, Waukon High School Guidance Counselor.
As a partner that helped to coordinate the Career Workshop, NICC knows that successful careers after graduation require solid planning and networking opportunities.
“The goal of the career workshop is to get our high school juniors and seniors to start thinking about career interests and highlight the great businesses we have in Allamakee County. Students connected with local employers, asked questions and learned about high demand jobs. We focused on agriculture, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, construction and small business,” said Erica Nosbisch, NICC Waukon Center Director.
High school students, parents and counselors who would like to learn more about academic programs available at NICC may visit or contact Nosbisch at the NICC Waukon Center by phone at 563-568-3060 or by e-mail at