Iowa School for the Deaf
Iowa School for the Deaf
Five students from Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs participated in a small group job shadow experience at Charlie Graham Auto Body in Omaha in January 2020. The students - juniors and seniors at ISD - had all applied for job shadows, expressing interest in learning more about automotive repair. IWCC's Intermediary – Southwest Iowa Workplace Connection - reached out to Charlie Graham Auto Body to see if they were interested in hosting them. Charlie Graham immediately said yes, and Jolene French (Intermediary Specialist) began coordinating the details.
Before this job shadow experience, IWCC's intermediary program had never worked with Charlie Graham Auto Body. Charlie Graham is a well-known, very respected, and community-driven shop in the metro area. It was an excellent opportunity to reach out to a new business partner in the region to seek a partnership, and we were thrilled that the business was so eager to participate. They were enthusiastic about the opportunity and eager to host the students. The even asked to shoot video so they could share the story with local media.
The Iowa School for the Deaf, located in Council Bluffs, is a pre-K to 12th-grade school for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Staff at Iowa School for the Deaf provided an interpreter for the job shadow experience, and Charlie Graham's staff was eager to learn about working with the students and the interpreter.
Students met with some management team members when they first arrived to learn a little more about the business. After the meeting, students moved into the shop to meet with the Charlie Graham team they would observe for both auto body and mechanical work.
The ISD job shadow at Charlie Graham Auto Body had a significant impact on everyone who participated. It was an excellent opportunity to reach out to a new business partner in the region, and we were thrilled that the business was so eager to work with students. Most importantly, the five students who attended the job shadow got a terrific opportunity to learn up-close and personal about careers in auto and body repair from a very experienced team.
Our primary focus as intermediaries is connecting education to business and industry through quality work-based learning experiences, and job shadows are a core function of our work. We loved how excited Charlie Graham Auto Body was to host these students, especially as a new partner tackling their first student experience.
The students’ experience also shows the great relationship we’ve built with the Iowa School for the Deaf. We’ve enjoyed working with staff to set up classroom speakers, worksite tour requests, and now our first job shadow experiences.
Our thanks go to the ISD students, the dedicated staff who serve them at the Iowa School for the Deaf, and Charlie Graham Auto Body for all their enthusiasm.
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