FOREST CITY, Iowa – Many of us can imagine working for at least 50 years in our life, but what you may not imagine is being at the same job for those 50 years.
But one local man in our area has done just that.
Meet Harlan Rodberg.
Originally from Fertile, he moved here to ForestCity and got a job at Winnebago Industries, 50 years ago.
“Well it was scary because I’ve never really worked in a factory. I came to work here and I was going to work till the spring field work started. I was farming at the time, and well of course 50 springs later I’m still here,” said Harlan.
You could say he’s seen it all.
He was there when Winnebago decided to change their industry all together, and start to assemble the first motor home produced by the company.
“Well going from trailers to motor homes of course. When we built that first motor home, I didn’t think we’d ever get it done. It’s totally different you go to have an engine in there, a windshield, then to top it off you have to have a windshield wipers on the windshield too,” Harlan.
And because of his hard work and just simple enthusiasm for his job, those at the company at celebrating Harlan.
Well for Harlan to here 50 years that’s just amazing not just for Harlan, not just for Winnebago, but I mean anywhere in this country in this day and age,” said Rany Potts.
Winnebago President Randy Potts says he couldn’t be more proud of everything Harlan’s done for the company.
Even as the head of the company he says he has learned a lot from Harlan’s hard work ethic.
“It’s what you value in life, and it’s setting your priorities and while Harlan values work and I know Harlan values every kind of work. I don’t think Harlan stops working when he leaves Winnebago at the end of the day,” said Potts.
But if you asked Harlan, what today means to him, he’d tell you, it’s just another day on the job.
“I enjoy working; I like to work with my hands. Like I said I’d rather go home physically tired then mentally burned out,” said Harlan.
Harlan has stayed on first shift through out his time at Winnebago thus far.
When asked why, he said it’s because he loved being able to come home to the kids at night.