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IACCT discusses legislative priorities

The Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) Board of Directors heard about statewide community college issues and legislative priorities when it met this week in Marshalltown.

Rich Gaumer of Ottumwa, Chairman of the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT), said the organization is highly focused on advocacy for Iowa’s 15 community colleges. IACCT is the statewide board that includes representation from each of Iowa’s locally elected community college boards. He said statistics show that one in 10 Iowans is involved in some way with Iowa’s community colleges each year, and that community colleges serve a greater number of students than Iowa’s state universities or private colleges.

Gaumer discussed Gov. Kim Reynolds’ plans for the Future Ready Iowa initiative, in which the community colleges would play a significant role. He also reviewed the IACCT legislative priorities, which include restoring the FY2017 funding reductions and addressing the higher education funding disparity by increasing the Iowa community college per pupil state general aid. Other legislative priorities involve supporting the commitment to the Iowa Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund, and providing locally elected community college boards with governance flexibility to access local support at its discretion. Gaumer encouraged Iowa Valley Board members to attend legislative fundraisers and advocate for the community colleges.

An agreement with TSP Inc. for remodeling the Math-Science building at Ellsworth Community College was approved by the IVCCD Board. Architect Dave Schultz said his firm designed the building in 1971 and that it hasn’t been updated much since that time. The work will begin immediately after graduation in early May and is expected to be completed by the time fall classes begin. The project is being funded with ACE infrastructure funds.

The IVCCD Board also approved five 260F Iowa Jobs Training Agreements to provide training to local companies. Fisher Controls International of Marshalltown will receive $20,000 to train 90 employees in forklift operations, Manatts of Brooklyn will receive $20,000 to train 50 employees in safety and computer skills, R.S. Stover of Marshalltown will receive $20,000 to train 32 employees in safety and product training, Central Iowa Fabrication of Alden will receive $10,000 to train 13 employees in safety for cranes and rigging, and Oldcastle Materials (dba Cessford Construction) of LeGrand will receive $20,000 to train 47 employees in safety and computer skills. The Board noted that this is the 18th training contract with Fisher Controls, the 15th contract with Manatts, the 8th contract with R.S. Stover and Cessford, and the first contract with Central Iowa Fabrication.

Nick Stanley of Schnurr and Company presented findings from the IVCCD 2016-2017 audit report, which received an unmodified opinion from the auditing firm. Stanley said the unmodified opinion is the best possible opinion that the auditing firm can offer. The Board then approved the audit report as presented.

In other matters, the Board approved a contract to offer college courses for students at West Marshall High School; a modification to a WIOA-Region 6 master contract that provides WIOA funding through June 30; an agreement for new ECC student housing washers and dryers that will not be coin-operated; and numerous Board Policy and Board Policy Guideline updates.

The Board also accepted the gift of $750 from Arlene McAtee of Mid-Iowa Community Action; the donation will be used for scholarships and assistance for those pursuing English as a Second Language, high school completion, and citizenship classes.

The next regular meeting of the IVCCD Board will be on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 4 pm in the District Administration Building (Board Room) on the Iowa Valley/MCC campus in Marshalltown.

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