Nick Langle wants something more than a broom.

He’s had a number of jobs in the last few years; none of them helped him decide where to go after high school. Langle knows he’s good at figuring things out, putting all the pieces together so they fit, but how does that translate into a career?

Langle is a natural fit for a new job-shadowing program at Elk Point-Jefferson that matches students with businesses in their interest area. This is the first year for the program, which was set up by counselor Christine McMeekin-Hemmingstad. She worked nearly a year to set the parameters for the program and finding businesses. She had to establish guidelines to determine whether students were meeting their employer’s expectations and learning what they hoped to.

Students spend the last 90 minutes of the school day at the business and work with, generally, one business employee. The intent of the semester-long endeavor is to allow the student to see all aspects of the business.

Langle is working at Balcon Enterprises in Elk Point. Balcon Director of Operations Emily Wells is his supervisor. She said there are benefits to the company beyond what Langle is doing in his job.

Nick Langle, Emily Wells

Elk Point-Jefferson senior Nick Langle, left, and Balcon Operations Manager Emily Wells work on a project as part of Langle’s intership at the company.

“The value is that we can offer students in the community a peek at a business that does a lot of things,” Wells said. “We have our corporate office here; we have a warehouse here and in the corporate office we have so many different roles, that it’s a great place for somebody who wants to see what it’s like maybe to be in HR [Human Resources] or somebody who wants to see what it’s like in accounting, or order entry or inventory management… we are able to give students a chance to peek into that.”

Wells said Langle is starting to take on some work that Balcon staff doesn’t have time to do, even though some of it is pretty mundane. Langle started at the warehouse, as do most Balcon employees. He spent a week there, and yes, it did involve a broom. However, he admits he learned a lot there about the company’s products that he’s using on the job today.

So far, he’s worked in marketing on a spread sheet that organizes and assigns catergories to customers. He was a second pair of eyes on the new website design, helping Wells find typos and links that didn’t work. He’s also worked with lead development on a list of potential pallette customers and sat with inventory and fleet management personnel.

There’s still a lot for him to learn, from Human Resources and accounting to fleet management, dispatching and sales.

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.