Seeing firsthand: High school students and teachers join NICC for tour of manufacturing companies

Benjegerdes Machine Inc. ... Greg Benjegerdes of Benjegerdes Machine Inc. in Waukon talks to high school students, teachers and community members about how he started his business from the ground up. Submitted photo.

G&S Machine ... Gil Hunstad of G&S Machine in Waukon shows tour attendees how his advanced manufacturing machines work. Submitted photo.

Norplex-Micarta ... Alan Johnson of Norplex-Micarta in Postville talks to the group about high performance thermoset composites. Submitted photo.

In recognition of National Advanced Manufacturing Month in October, Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) sponsored advanced manufacturing tours in Allamakee County Thursday, September 14. The goal of the tours is to expose high school students, teachers and community members to high-demand, high-skill jobs that are found locally.

The 35-member group toured Norplex-Micarta in Postville, and Benjegerdes Machine, Inc. and G&S Machine, both of Waukon. Students from Waukon High School, Kee High School and MFL/MarMac High School attended, as well as members of Allamakee County's Business and Community Board.

"We feel it is important to offer tours to high school students to build an awareness of the type of advanced manufacturing jobs available in Allamakee County,” expressed Dixie Doeppke, human resources manager at Norplex-Micarta. "Tours are also a great way to build a relationship with the schools and students for future opportunities, especially through job shadowing, interviewing skills, career fairs and internships. Jobs in manufacturing are great careers for students to consider because they can use their problem solving skills on a daily basis."

The College is planning additional manufacturing tours throughout the district. For more information about the Allamakee County Business and Community Board and future events, contact Erica Nosbisch, Waukon Center director, at 563-568-3060 or

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