[April 29, 2014]
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morning, seniors from Hartsburg-Emden, Lincoln and Mount Pulaski
high schools gathered at Lincoln Christian Church for the annual
Workforce Readiness Expo. The expo is put on each year by the
Lincoln/Logan Chamber of Commerce.
The day began with welcoming
comments from chamber director Andi Hake and an address from keynote
speaker Patrick Doolin.
Doolin, the owner of Integrity
Data in Lincoln, talked to the kids about his career choices and how
he followed a desire to work with numbers and also to think up
new and innovative ideas. He talked about how some ideas are
good and some aren't, but you don't know until you try them out. Doolin punctuated this
by telling a story of when he was a kid, he and
his brother mounted a rocket engine on a model car and set it off
just to see what would happen. That story didn't end well for
the two brothers, as their childhood home ended up with an ugly black
burn mark on the white siding. But they would not have known it
was a bad idea had they not tried it.
also talked about a good idea, one that many said was a crazy idea:
the restoration of the Scully Building. He talked about the
skepticism of some who said trying to make the burned-out building
viable again was going to be an insurmountable task. In the
end, though, it was a good idea. It took a lot of work and
dedication, but Doolin is quite pleased that he was able to save and
make useful again a historic building that was important to his
He spoke about his decision to
build his successful business in Lincoln. He said he deals
with companies all around the world and works with such well-known
firms as Microsoft, and he does it all from his hometown. He
stressed there is opportunity in Lincoln and Logan County for young
minds and new ideas.
He also acknowledged that
sometimes you have to leave home in order to come home, and he said that
he did that, but in the end he came back to what he knew and loved. He talked about his love for the small town, hometown feel and said
his commute to work each day is literally a "walk in the park," and
his worries of traffic congestion involve how many squirrels will be
running around in that park.
In the end, he told the group
that their success can happen in Lincoln, and some of the reasons
are that home is the place where people will believe in
them, encourage them and want to see them succeed.
After the keynote, Hake
directed the students to break out into their individual workshop
sessions. In addition to the keynote, there were four sessions,
with the day ending in a student panel session.
Pictures by Nila Smith