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Drive-in Careers put on Display - from The Messenger

May 5, 2023

Jesse Laird, a fifth-grader at Duncombe Elementary School, might very well not end up in any of the careers students could explore Thursday during the ninth annual Iowa Central Community College Careers on Wheels held on the East Campus.

He's a gifted wordsmith and will probably become a writer.

He offered this description of the WOW Donuts he got to sample.

"The doughnut was exquisite," Laird said. "It was like eating a cloud from heaven."

WOW stands for Warm On Wheels. The doughnut food wagon is owned by Mike and Jolene Wickersheim, of Rockwell City. They were both enjoying themselves. No student left without a smile.

About 40 businesses and several public services were represented. The students got to set off squad car sirens, blow the horn in several pieces of construction equipment and blow the air horn in several trucks.

Rick George, vice president of Decker Truck Line Inc. was busy showing the students one of their fleet's red trucks.

So how many fifth-graders can fit into the cab of a semi, including the sleeper?

"Not as many as fit in a Volkswagen," he joked.

He said most of the students were finding out that the sleeper is basically a small home.

"They're surprised by all the comforts of home, there's a microwave, cable tv, and a fridge among other things," he said.

He did draw the line at letting them make noise with the horn.

"They asked politely," he said. "I had to tell them no."

Tracy Kasperbaner, a driver with Mid-Iowa Towing, had a unique place for the students to listen while he told them about his job. They sat on the tilted bed of one of the company's flatbed tow trucks. He said he hasn't reached the limit of how many students will in fact fit on a tow truck bed.

"They are pretty interested in what we do, how far we go, what we do and how many tows we do," he said.

For Ariah Adams, a fifth-grader at Southeast Valley, getting to sit in a dump truck and pull the horn cord wasn't anything new.

"I already knew it was loud," she said. "I do it all the time at my grandpa's."

Students from Southeast Valley, Humboldt, Greene County Schools, and Paton-Churdan joined the fifth grade students from the Fort Dodge Community School District and Community Christian School.

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