Eastern Iowa Community Colleges awarded $100,000 from COVID-19 fund

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A Nevada man was hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19 a second time.

Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) is one of 65 applicants to receive funding through Future Ready Iowa’s Coronavirus Relief Fund Employer Innovation Fund Grant.

The program helps local employers, nonprofits, community colleges, high schools, private universities and the University of Iowa provide post-secondary training and education to Iowans whose employment has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a news release.

More than $4.3 million has been awarded to the winning projects, with EICC receiving $100,000.

The goal of the EICC Coronavirus Employer Innovation Fund is to increase the number of students who complete short-term non-credit opportunities in three high-demand areas: truck driving, manufacturing awareness and front line leadership programs. Grant money will cover tuition costs for 88 Iowans in these high-demand programs, with the goal of placing all those who complete the programs in jobs with local employers.

Programs will be targeted to Iowans whose employment has been affected by or eliminated because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including low-skilled workers, veterans, returning citizens, members of underrepresented communities, minorities, women, Iowans with disabilities, and low-income Iowans by working in partnership with Iowa Workforce Development programs and community-based organizations. Career assessment will be included to ensure participants understand career requirements and options.

In addition, partner companies within each program area will commit to hiring those who complete programs and promoting the program graduates to other companies in their communities and through professional networks. That will help meet the Future Ready Iowa goal of 70% of Iowans in the workforce with education or training beyond high school by the year 2025.

About the programs:

Truck Driving: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth in transportation in Iowa is 13% with annual projected job openings of 5,450. In the Iowa Quad Cities alone (Bettendorf, Blue Grass, Davenport, Eldridge and Long Grove) there are 56 trucking employers.

Manufacturing Awareness:  The program was developed and launched by EICC and Iowa companies Clysar, Sears Seating, HNI, Clinton Regional Development Corporation and Citizens First Bank to specifically respond to the COVID-19 shutdown.

Frontline Leadership: Labor-market analytics company EMSI ranks first-line supervisors as one of the highest ranked occupations in the six county region of EICC’s service area.

For more information, contact Paula Arends, Director of Workforce Innovation, at 563-336-3357 or parends@eicc.edu

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