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The original item was published from 10/20/2023 10:39:30 AM to 10/20/2023 10:42:07 AM.

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Columbus News

Posted on: October 20, 2023

[ARCHIVED] City Engineering Department welcomes Columbus High senior for job shadowing


Columbus High Senior Kaden Brownlow spent the last few weeks learning firsthand what a career in civil engineering looks like at the City of Columbus as part of his school’s career services program.

Brownlow spent about an hour each weekday morning shadowing City of Columbus Project Engineer Braden Labenz and learning the ropes as part of CHS' career services program.

“It has been pretty fun. I’ve been able to learn a little bit of just about everything,” Brownlow said on Oct. 20.

Labenz on Oct. 20 took Brownlow down to the parking lot being built east of the Columbus Community Building to see how the construction was coming together. It was the last day of Brownlow’s job shadowing effort, in which he got a whirlwind view of the City Engineering Department’s day-to-day activities including building tours and bridge inspections.


(City of Columbus Project Engineer Braden Labenz, left, and Columbus High School Senior Kaden Brownlow pose for a photo Friday morning in front of the parking lot under construction east of the Columbus Community Building, 2500 14th St. The two went to observe concrete getting poured and how progress on the lot is going.)

“I really enjoyed touring the water distribution plant and learning just how the pumps and everything work so that water gets out to Columbus. And then the bridge inspection, I got to learn about what you need to look for, what stuff is supposed to look like and what stuff is not supposed to look like,” Brownlow said. “Just the details of everything.”

Labenz said it was rewarding working with Brownlow, praising his work ethic.

“It’s always fun and exciting to see younger members of the community get excited about things you’re passionate about,” he said. “I definitely can see it with Kaden he’s going to be a good engineer in the future.”

Brownlow said he’s hoping to pursue engineering in college, noting Iowa State is likely a landing spot for him once he graduates high school. His interest in the field isn’t necessarily a surprise as his father is an engineer. That inspired him to take engineering classes while in high school.

“It’s kind of just always been the path I wanted to take,” Brownlow said.

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