CANCO represented at CTE event with Iowa Gov. Reynolds

CANCO represented at CTE event with Iowa Gov. Reynolds Fort Madison High School building trades teacher Clint Kobelt, left, with the members of the winning team in the 2020 Carl A. Nelson & Company High School Skills Challenge. Carl A. Nelson & Company is a partner with Kobelt in the program, which has grown from just seven students when he started in 2014-15 to more than 150 in 2020-21. CANCO photo

1 year, 2 months ago

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds

FORT MADISON, Iowa (CANCO) — Carl A. Nelson & Company was among a small handful of area firms represented during a recent visit by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to Fort Madison Community High School to learn about the school's commitment to career and technical education (CTE) programs.

According to a report published by the Fort Madison Daily Democrat, Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg met Feb. 12, 2021, with administrators and teachers to celebrate the school's efforts to beef up its CTE offerings, and also to build partnerships with local employers.

“Because I’ve been talking about this as the lieutenant governor and now as the governor because our greatest asset is our young people,” she said in comments reported by the Democrat, “and this is all about providing them an opportunity to find a passion, something they like, that they’re good at, test run those different careers and most exciting when you think of it from a community perspective is we’re matching them up with existing businesses and that’s potential workforce.”

The Democrat reported that across six CTE programs at the school, almost 80 percent of students — 386 of 553 — were enrolled in at least one.

Among the teachers introduced at the event was Clint Kobelt, the school's building trades instructor. Kobelt, according to the report, cited the demand he made to administrators prior to taking the job in 2014 that students be provided with the latest tools, and that local partnerships be pursued. With that support, he said, the building trades program has grown from seven students his first year to more than 150 in 2020-21.

Since its inception in 2017, CANCO's annual High School Skills Challenge has included at least one team from FMHS. The school has walked away the winner from three of those four competitions after the student builders demonstrated their abilities on a series of real-world tasks, such as building a deck, hanging a steel door or accurately completing a construction math quiz.

“Without the financial backing and support of businesses like Mohrfeld Electric and Carl A. Nelson, the budgets don’t exist,” Kobelt told Reynolds, the Democrat reported. “We can’t do what we do without support from the community.”

CANCO General Superintendent Mike Harris represented the company at the event. He expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to partner with the school.

“We’re just happy to have a program like this in the schools in our local areas that are getting this involved in things and turning out kids who are really ready to go onto the job sites,” he said, as quoted by the Democrat. “We applaud it. We need help constantly, so it’s great for us, too.”