MCC Construction program will build house for Dragers
The Iowa Valley Community College District Board of Directors approved plans for the Marshalltown Community College Construction Technology program to build a residential home for Dennis and Heidi Drager when it met this month. The 3,200 square foot barn-style home will be located just southeast of the MCC campus; construction will take place during the 2014-15 academic year under the supervision of instructor Russ Yarrow.
MCC Provost Dr. Robin Lilienthal said the College is pleased with this year’s residential home project. “I know Russ and our students will do a great job for the Dragers, and I’m sure they’re glad to have the project so close to campus this coming year. It will be a win-win effort.”
The IVCCD Board heard a report from Paul Gregoire, Vice President of Global Human Resources for Emerson Process Management and Vice Chair of the Iowa Association of Business & Industry (ABI) Board of Directors. Gregoire explained the Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative between ABI and Iowa’s community colleges, which he characterized as “the ultimate in collaboration.”
“The Elevate Advanced Manufacturing project is about changing the outdated image of advanced manufacturing that exists today,” explained Gregoire. “People need to understand that manufacturing drives the economy in Iowa and the Midwest, and that today’s manufacturing jobs look very different than they did in the past. Today we have great jobs that pay great wages, and the training for those jobs is offered in our Iowa community colleges. This is the answer to the middle skills crisis that manufacturers are experiencing, and it’s a bridge to a rewarding career that today’s career seekers are hoping to attain.”
Gregoire said that the Elevate Advanced Manufacturing campaign will accomplish three important goals: 1) improve the perception of advanced manufacturing in Iowa, 2) educate K-12 students, their parents, and prospective community college students about potential careers in advanced manufacturing, and 3) provide an Iowa business endorsement for community college efforts to recruit students into advanced manufacturing training programs. Efforts will include an advertising campaign, a K-12 curriculum, resources for educators, event marketing, and more.
The Iowa Valley Board accepted a gift of $2,500 from JBS Swift and UFCW Local 1149 for English as a Second Language scholarships to JBS employees enrolled at the Iowa Valley Education & Training Center. Dr. Chris Duree, IVCCD Chancellor, said it was originally hoped that at least 10 students would take the class, but more than 20 are currently enrolled. He added that not only will the ESL training help them become better JBS employees, but it will also help those who are parents better support the academic efforts of their school-aged children. A donation of miscellaneous items for the Orpheum Theater Center was also accepted from Thomas LaVille.
In other action, the Board approved a 36-month lease agreement with MaTran Inc. for leasing two 25-passenger buses for use by the MCC Athletic Department in transporting teams to competition. Dr. Lilienthal said the lease is expected to save at least $4,000 annually in travel costs and, most importantly, improve travel safety for MCC student-athletes. She said the buses will be “wrapped” with the MCC Tiger Athletics logo and colors.
The Board also approved agreements with Iowa State University regarding the transferability of MCC and Ellsworth Community College credits; renewed an agreement with Iowa Falls School District for space on the ECC campus to operate Greenbelt Alternative High School; approved agreements to again host Youth for Understanding international exchange students at both ECC and MCC during the coming year; and renewed a memo of understanding with Wes Finch Auto Plaza in Grinnell for use of their facilities for Iowa Valley Grinnell’s Automotive Repair Technology labs.
The next regular meeting of the IVCCD Board of Directors will be Wednesday, Aug. 13, at 4 p.m. in Marshalltown.