On the same day the Davenport West High School and Bettendorf High School Football Teams competed on the field, a celebration took place along the riverfront for a student-focused collaboration.
At 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1, Falcons and Bulldogs from their respective welding departments will reveal bike racks they designed and built for downtown Davenport and downtown Bettendorf. The bike racks are on the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) where the City of Davenport and the City of Bettendorf meet – a symbolic location for this project.
“We’re ultimately celebrating our talented youth and the full-circle connection to our business community, the ability to grow our own talent in the Quad Cities, and addressing future workforce needs,” said Kyle Carter, Downtown Davenport Partnership executive director. “The bike racks are just a small example of what we can do on a huge scale when we collaborate regionally at all levels.”
A few years ago, the Downtown Davenport Partnership, an affiliate of the Quad Cities Chamber, came up with the idea to make bike racks with their logo on them. After doing some research and brainstorming, they were able to partner with Davenport West’s Welding Department and have the bike racks made locally by high school students.
This year, the Quad Cities Chamber has expanded that program to include the Downtown Bettendorf Organization, a fellow Chamber affiliate, and Bettendorf High School’s Welding
“Students exploring manufacturing work in the future are getting hands-on experience in high school on all aspects of completing a job,” said Ryan Jantzi, Downtown Bettendorf Organization executive director. “From raw material, pricing, and fabrication to powder coating, marketing, and craftsmanship – it’s real-world experience in high school all while creating something that adds value to our community.”