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IVCCD Board hears WIOA report

The Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) Board of Directors learned about concerns impacting Iowa’s Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs statewide when it met this week in Marshalltown.

Becky Hassett, IVCE Director of Student Support Services, told the Board that WIOA’s goal is to collaborate with partners to give Iowans access to high quality education, training, and work readiness opportunities. The four core partners under WIOA are 1) WIOA Title I providing support services for adults, dislocated workers and youth offered by IowaWORKS (administered by IVCCD), 2) Adult Basic Education providing adult education/literacy, HSED and English as a Second Language classes offered by Iowa Valley Continuing Education, 3) Iowa Workforce Development offering employment services for employers and job seekers, and 4) Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the Iowa Department for the Blind offering services for people with disabilities. The local IowaWORKS staff at 204 ½ W. State St. in Marshalltown services residents of Hardin, Marshall, Poweshiek and Tama Counties.

Jason Roudabush, the WIOA Chief Elected Official for Poweshiek County, said that Iowa’s WIOA programs have been out of compliance with federal Department of Labor regulations since 2014, when the WIOA program was put in place. There are several tasks that must be completed to bring the statewide programs into compliance, and a deadline has been set for June 30, 2020. “Some of the WIOA CEOs, including myself, are looking at possible regional mergers to help achieve some financial savings, because our WIOA funding has decreased each year,” Roudabush explained. “We have lots to do to line this all up and achieve compliance, including identifying administrative board support, fiscal agents, one-stop operators, and service providers. Unfortunately, all of this coincides with other major project deadlines that happen in the same upcoming three-month timeframe. I think we can get this done, but it will be a challenge.”

The IVCCD Board thanked Hassett and Roudabush for the report and for their leadership in working to ensure that the WIOA employment services continue to be available for area residents.

FY2021 Budget, Tax Levy Rate approved

The IVCCD Board conducted a public hearing on the proposed 2020-21 fiscal year budget, with no comments received from the public. The budget was then approved, setting the maximum total expenditures for the coming year at $49.8 million. The new IVCCD tax levy rate for FY21 is $1.58101 per $1,000 valuation. The levy rate is going up .69692 cents from the current fiscal year due to the repayment of principal and interest on the planned issuance of general obligation bonds as a result of the passage of the District’s $32 million bond issue in November 2019.

In other action, the IVCCD Board approved:

  • a $9,855 260F Iowa Jobs Training Agreement with Ritchie Industries in Conrad to train 20 Ritchie employees on software and hydraulics,
  • a contract with Canvas Learning Management System to replace Blackboard Classic as the District’s online learning management system at a five-year cost savings of $56,000,
  • a one-year subscription with Full Measure to enhance the onboarding process and communications for incoming students at Ellsworth Community College; and
  • 33 updated Board policies and policy guidelines.

During informational reports, IVCCD Chancellor Dr. Kristie Fisher told the Board that a steering committee spent three hours with OPN architects and planners this week to discuss bond issue projects, phasing, budgets and timelines. The initial eight-week planning process will help all parties ensure that projects on the campuses in Marshalltown, Iowa Falls and Grinnell are sequenced in such a way that disruption to teaching and learning is kept to a minimum. Fisher also assured the Board that the committee is committed to fulfilling the promises made to voters during the bond issue campaign.

The IVCCD Board went into closed session to discuss collective bargaining, but took no action upon returning to open session.

The next regular meeting of the IVCCD Board will be Wednesday, April 8, at 4 pm in Reg Johnson Hall at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls. The IVCCD Board will meet April 6 at 4:30 pm via video conference with the North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC), Hawkeye Community College and Central Rivers Area Education Agency Boards of Directors; the agenda will be informational only (no action items or voting).

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