Shelby man is “making a difference” with role in Senator Grassley’s staff

AREA  — An internship with one of the longest-serving members of congress led a Shelby man to a career as Regional Director for Senator Chuck Grassley.
Jonathan Bladt is a fifth-generation farmer, alongside his parents, Wayne and Mary Beth Bladt, and he and his two younger sisters were raised on the family farm near Shelby. Bladt graduated from Tri-Center Community High School in 2016, and earned a Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Business from Northwest Missouri State University in 2020. During his time at NWMSU, Jonathan was a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity and involved in other campus activities.
 “I have always been interested in politics,” Bladt said. “My parents and grandparents always taught me to be aware of current events and how they affect people in their daily lives.” However, Bladt credits a college professor for getting him even more involved.
 “I would have never gotten actively involved in politics if it weren’t for one of my professors at Northwest, Dr. David Jerome,” Bladt said. Dr. Jerome pushed Bladt to be “the best student he could be” and with his guidance and assistance, Bladt applied for an internship in Senator Grassley’s office.
 He was selected to serve as an Administrative Intern in the Washington, D.C. office, where duties included giving tours to constituents, responding to mail and aiding the staff with projects.
 “In Senator Grassley’s office, regardless of whether you’re the Chief of Staff, an intern or a legislative assistant, we all share the same goal: to help the senator serve the people of Iowa the best that we can,” Bladt said.
 “Every member of Senator Grassley’s staff is an essential part of the equation that has made him one of the most effective legislators throughout his tenure in the United States Senate.”
 Following his time in the nation’s capital, Bladt return to school to finish his bachelor’s degree and joined the workforce. A year and a half later, he was contacted by the Senator’s office and asked to join the staff for Grassley’s upcoming 2022 re-election campaign.
 “I jumped at the chance to serve Senator Grassley again, this time in a new capacity,” Bladt said.
 He was hired as the Regional Field Director for Southwest/South Central Iowa, and helped the Senator in his successful re-election crusade. Following the election, Bladt helped pack up the campaign headquarters, and returned to the farm.
 He was again notified by a member of the Senator’s staff, who encouraged him to apply for an open position as the Southwest Iowa Regional Director, the job he currently holds.
 “Working for Senator Grassley has been a highlight of my career,” Bladt said.
 “Being able to serve the people of Iowa while still actively farming provides me with a unique perspective and only makes me better at my job.”
 The Senator has six offices across the state, Bladt said, and with his job, no two days are ever the same. “The staff is ready to help in any way we can.”
 When Senator Grassley visits the area during his “99 County Tour”, often referred to as “The Full Grassley”, Bladt keeps the Senator on schedule and meets with the county, municipal, and state governments to assist with any problems they may have with the Federal Government.
 The largest part of his job is constituent services, so when a constituent contacts Grassley’s office looking for assistance, it’s Bladt who answers the call.
 “I meet with Iowans across the region and help them with the problems they are facing with federal agencies,” Bladt said. He also passes along their questions, comments or concerns to the Senator, so he knows what Southwest Iowans are thinking and what they care about, he said.
 “The senator meets with several thousand constituents face-to-face every year during his 99 county meetings, but not every Iowan is able to attend these meetings. That’s why his staff stays on the ground across the state, to ensure all Iowans can stay in touch with Senator Grassley and get the help they need.”
 Finding a resolution to the constituent’s concern is Bladt’s favorite part of his job, he said. “What I love most about my position with Senator Grassley’s office is the great feeling of pride and joy I get when I’ve been working hard on a constituent’s case and the case is resolved in the constituent’s favor.”
 Bladt and the staff works thousands of these cases a year, he said.
 “There is no better feeling than being thanked repeatedly by the people we help. There are many constituent cases where we literally help change their lives,” Bladt said.
 “Knowing that our office is making a difference in Iowans’ lives is what keeps all of us, including Senator Grassley, working countless hours for the people of Iowa.”




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