Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) has been awarded a $100,000 grant from Arconic Foundation, the independently endowed philanthropic arm of Arconic Inc., to create promotional content designed to showcase advancing manufacturing careers in the Quad Cities.

“Manufacturing has evolved, and this partnership with Arconic is a great opportunity for Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, in partnership with K-12 schools, area chambers, the Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board, and workforce partners, to provide young people with information and experiences that will help them understand manufacturing careers and make choices leading to high-paying, in-demand jobs,” Paula Arends, EICC’s Director of Continuing Education and Professional Development, said in a Friday release.

The grant will support the development of a series of videos focused on three specific manufacturing careers.

These videos will include footage of hands-on work being done at a variety of local manufacturing plants, interviews with technicians, and interviews with students currently enrolled in EICC’s advanced manufacturing programs. The videos will give students in grades 6 – 12, and historically underserved adult populations, the opportunity to learn about the various jobs and explore their potential interest.

In addition, students and instructors in EICC’s Augmented and Virtual Reality program will create an interactive application where users can experience technical skill sets required in one of the careers. The interactive experience will be specific to job tasks identified by the Eastern Iowa/Western Illinois Manufacturing Sector Board. All of the new content will be accessible to local schools, prospective students and more via the college’s website, QR codes, and other educational outreach materials.

“Arconic is excited to partner with Eastern Iowa Community Colleges in reaching out to students in middle and high school to understand the kinds of manufacturing careers they can prepare for without taking on huge amounts of student debt,” said Steven Jennings, Arconic Manufacturing Director. “Manufacturing and skilled trades are in-demand right now in businesses all across our region.”

Work on the project has already begun and content is expected to roll out in March 2023. Eastern Iowa Community Colleges offers a variety of advancing manufacturing programs at the Blong Technology Center, as well as Clinton and Muscatine Community Colleges. Programs include Additive Manufacturing with 3-D Modeling, CNC Machining, Engineering Technology, Industrial Maintenance, Welding, and Supply Chain and Logistics.

For more information about EICC’s manufacturing offerings, visit eicc.edu/manufacturing, or call toll-free 1-888-336-3907, email eiccinfo@eicc.edu