Iowa Valley Board approves new Gunsmith Technology program
The IVCCD Board of Directors approved a new Gunsmith Technology program that will be offered this fall at the Iowa Valley Grinnell campus when it met this month. MaryAnne Nickle, Dean of IVG, explained that the program has been under development for the past year, and that it will meet the needs of Poweshiek County employer Brownell’s in Montezuma, among others.
Nickle said this will be the only Gunsmith Technology degree program in Iowa, with the next nearest program offered in Colorado. Approximately 12 students will be enrolled, and with preliminary interest running high, she anticipates that all student seats will be filled for Fall 2013. Participants will master sophisticated machining, metalworking and woodworking, as well as safety issues and regulations. Graduates will be qualified for employment in manufacturing, retailing, military gunsmithing, and small shop operations.
The Board approved an estimated certified budget for 2013-2014, which will be published via legal notices so that a public hearing on the budget can be held on March 13. Chief Financial Office Kathy Pink explained that the estimated budget sets the levy rate, which dictates the local taxpayer support for the local community college district. For the fourth consecutive year, Iowa Valley’s levy rate will decrease if the estimated budget is approved in March. The proposed budget would lower the tax rate for local property owners 8 cents, from $1.88711 per $1,000 valuation to $1.80616.
Five job training programs were approved by the Board with area employers, providing state training funds for their workforce. J&T Motorfreight of Hubbard will train 14 employees in safety, mechanic regulations and QuickBooks for $4,999. Natural Products of Iowa Falls will train 4 employees in food safety, food conference, management skills and computer applications for $4,999. JBS Swift of Marshalltown will train 40 employees in industrial maintenance, management and safety for $25,000. Manatts Inc. of Brooklyn will train 80 employees in computer, safety, management, and Spanish for $15,000. Fisher Controls International will train 20 employees in a Machine Operator Training Program for $45,000.
The Board also approved early retirement applications from Vicki Hand, Accounting & Finance Clerk in the IVCCD Business Office, and Berleen Wobeter, Vocational Trainer at the Tama County Career Development Center. It was noted that additional early retirement applications are expected to be on the Board’s March and April agendas, because the deadline for filing applications is the end of March.
In other matters, the Board: approved a lease for rental of 108 acres of organic MCC farmland ($270 per acre) with Saak Family Farms of Grundy Center; received an additional $47,035 for a Youth Spring Work Experience Program through the Workforce Center in Marshalltown; approved payment of 2013-2014 dues to the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees in the amount of $34,643 (down from last year); and approved MCC and ECC athletic schedules for cross country, softball, golf, and baseball. A closed session was held to discuss collective bargaining strategy, but no action was taken upon returning to open session.
Four donations were accepted by the Board, including: machine shop equipment valued at $4,000 from Dale Suhr to Marshalltown Community College; machine shop equipment valued at $4,000 from Jackie Harrill to MCC; DVDs from Nancy Adams to the MCC Library; and $500 from Jean Clauson to the Tama County Career Development Center for client activities.
Dr. Chris Duree, IVCCD Chancellor, also expressed appreciation for the $300,000 donation from the family of Charlie Fairall to the MCC Foundation. “Many MCC students will benefit from that generous gift of scholarship dollars,” Duree said.
The next regular meeting of the IVCCD Board of Directors will be at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, at the IVCCD Administrative Office in Marshalltown.