|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
Iowa has a long and strong history as a leader in manufacturing. In southeast Iowa specifically, more than a quarter of the region’s workforce is engaged in manufacturing. But history alone is not enough to sustain a strong manufacturing base. By 2015, several southeast Iowa companies faced a significant need for trained workers in industrial maintenance and advanced manufacturing.
To keep up with the region’s ever-changing workforce needs, Southeastern Community College (SCC) needed to respond to and anticipate business needs by tailoring educational programs to fit trends and workforce characteristics. In August 2015, EDA awarded $1 million to SCC to support construction of a new Industrial Maintenance Technology (IMT) facility on the SCC’s Keokuk campus. The new 16,000 square foot building will include computer labs, lecture space, faculty offices, on-site storage, and centralized lab space for training modules and equipment. The IMT Program will help encourage job growth and business expansion in the region by bringing critical skills education needed for continued operation, innovation and expansion.
SCC expects 50 students to be enrolled in the program each semester. The majority of students that are enrolled in the program are employed in regional industries and need to update their skills to adapt to changing technologies and industry requirements. New students that complete the two-year program are placed with area industries. SCC estimates that more than 750 non-traditional students will be trained to do new jobs or to enhance existing job skills, and over 135 traditional students will be educated to be placed within new industries in the region over the next 9 years.