Manufacturing 101 Spotlight: Temi Otaniyi

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is conducting the June session of the Manufacturing 101 workshop, and Temi Otaniyi, a participant in the program, is making great strides to further his career in manufacturing. Otaniyi is a Spencer resident who is originally from Nigeria. Otaniyi lived in the US for a couple of years, and although he loves the Corridor and enjoys raising his family here with his wife, he's struggled to finish his degree and find full-time employment.

"I came to the US as an international student to go to college,” said Otaniyi. “I went to SW Oklahoma State and studied Computer Science for two years. I decided to stop because I thought I would have a career in music, but eventually I moved to Spencer because my wife is from here.”

Otaniyi currently works full-time at Jimmy Johns, however he was always hoping to finish his degree and find a career that was rewarding. Although his wife is a registered nurse in Spencer, Otaniyi mentioned that he wanted another opportunity to learn more skills and become more qualified in the manufacturing industry.

"When I was in college, I felt that I was learning valuable information and I was growing,” said Otaniyi. “Once I stopped going to college and got out into the work force, I realized I still didn't have the necessary skills and experience I needed. I had applied to Polaris online and through a temp agency, and I honestly forgot about my applications. I finally got a call from Polaris and they told me about the “Manufacturing 101” program, and I felt like it was a second chance at both receiving valuable education and the skills I need to keep growing and succeeding.  I was skilled, I was educated, but I wasn't really qualified; that's where this workshop really came into play. "

The "Manufacturing 101" workshop consists of short courses designed for adults and 2014 high school graduates. The 3-week, free program emphasizes assisting individuals in a respectful, adult-learning setting where they will learn the manufacturing, human relations, career and safety skills needed to be immediately hired. The Corridor has teamed up with eight manufacturing and industrial companies to give students interviews and free training and resources in the hopes that they can be hired directly after completion of the workshop. Additionally, students have the opportunity to receive more information about Iowa Lakes Community College and opportunities for furthering their education and training. Otaniyi states that he has gained valuable training and skills that he will use to further his career and hopefully land his dream job.

"This workshop has been a blessing,” said Otaniyi. “I've learned so much in just a week and I had no clue that I would be learning so many valuable skill sets. I had limited experience and worked at various manufacturing companies temporarily, but all the skills I'm learning now will help me land a job in the industry that I know will help lead to an exciting career."

Otaniyi also has plans to continue his education to finish his bachelor’s degree, and he also dreams of working his way into management after gaining more work experience in the industry. One thing Otaniyi loves most about the Manufacturing 101 workshop is the emphasis on seeing the many opportunities for growth in manufacturing. Addtionally, Otaniyi has been able to gain strategies in teamwork and professionalism.

"I'm definitely preparing for a broader scope of work and many different opportunities, but I would love to eventually get into management”, stated Otaniyi. “What I didn't anticipate was that I'm learning other skills too, like interview skills and also how to make a proper resume. I've been able to add so much to my resume strictly because of the experience I've gained here in the Manufacturing 101 workshop. I'm excited to walk into my interviews and give companies my portfolio because I'm proud of the work I'm accomplished so far."

The Corridor is offering a second Manufacturing 101 session in July. The session begins on Monday, July 7th and runs Monday - Friday until July 25th. Applications are still being accepted. For more information about the Manufacturing 101 workshop, contact Tina Sherrill at, or contact the Iowa Lakes Corridor at 712-264-3474. 

Category: News Release