A vision brought to life
What started as a dream to bring more career and technical education opportunities to underserved populations is now a reality thanks to the strong support of voters within Eastern Iowa Community Colleges’ (EICC) service area.
Recently, more than 70 percent of voters in Clinton, Jackson, Muscatine, Scott and neighboring counties, said yes to a $40 million Bond Referendum to fund new and expanded training labs to support EICC’s Career and Technical Education Programs, including high school Career Academies.
“We’re very excited and grateful to see this important initiative move forward,” said EICC Chancellor Don Doucette. “The economic future of Eastern Iowa depends on a skilled workforce, and 65 percent of the jobs of today and tomorrow require education and training beyond high school.”
The funding will be used for new and expanded career training facilities at all three of EICC’s Clinton, Muscatine and Scott Community College main campuses. It will also be used for a new facility in DeWitt, expansion of programming at the college’s current Maquoketa training facility located next to Maquoketa High School and a new agriculture education facility in Scott County.
“It’s been a long but satisfying road to get to this point,” said Muscatine Community College President, Naomi DeWinter. “We have worked with our partners for the last several years on the model of expanding career and technical education and we are thankful to have the support of our schools, businesses and community members, indicated in the positive vote for the referendum.”
The expansion will allow for increased services for all EICC students as well as those in the college’s high school Career Academies. Career Academies provide the opportunity for current high school students to receive hands-on career training, and college-level credits, while still in high school. Because of this, a number of area school boards approved resolutions in support of the referendum. Plans for the project have been in the works for years, as the need for hands-on career training has grown.
“Expanding career and technical education throughout the region, especially in our rural communities, ensures all community members have affordable and equitable access to the educational opportunities,” Doucette said.
“In addition, these facilities will meet the ongoing needs of business and industry by developing a skilled workforce.”
Work on the various projects will begin as early as this coming fall, with completed facilities expected to open in late 2022 or early 2023.
“To be able to deliver programs that are in high-demand to our community in the near future gives us all something exciting to work towards,” said DeWinter.
What to look for:
Clinton Community College (CCC)
- Construction of a new building on or near the main campus to support Agriculture, Automotive Technology, Construction Technology, Culinary, Engineering Technology, Education, Healthcare, Information Technology and Welding programs.
- New equipment and renovated facilities on the CCC Maquoketa Campus to support CNC Machining, Engineering Technology, Education, Information Technology and Welding.
- Construction of a Career and Technical Education Center to be built in the Crossroads Industrial Park in DeWitt, supporting Agriculture, Business, Construction Technology, CNC Machining, Healthcare and Information Technology programs.
Muscatine Community College (MCC)
- Construction of new facilities to support Automotive Technology, Construction Technology, Criminal Justice and Allied Health/Nursing.
- Expansion and renovation of MCC’s Industrial Technology Center, supporting Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering Technology and Welding.
- Expansion and support of several other programs, including Agriculture, Culinary, K12 Teacher Preparation and Information Technology.
Scott Community College (SCC)
- Addition of a renovated and expanded Allied Health/Nursing wing to main college campus and the expansion of several other planned programs, including Nursing/Allied Health, Automotive Technology, Business and Education.
SCC Blong Technology Center
- Addition to the Blong Technology Center to support Advanced Manufacturing/Robotics, Engineering Tech, Polymer Technology, Construction Management, Mechanical Design and Welding programs.