Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) celebrated the grand opening of the DeWitt Career Advancement Center Thursday, Oct. 19, showcasing the new facility dedicated to student success and workforce development.
The ultra-modern $8-million center at 817 E. Industrial St., DeWitt, expands access to EICC career and technical training programs, allowing adult and high school students to stay closer to home while completing their education, according to a college release. Prior to its opening two months ago, most students living in and around DeWitt attended classes at the Clinton Community College (CCC) campus.
“To have our first EICC presence in this community is truly a significant accomplishment. We have so many strong partners in DeWitt and western Clinton county; today is a huge celebration,” said Brian Kelly, CCC president and EICC vice chancellor of strategy support and planning.
“This center aligns with our college’s mission and the needs of the community, providing high-quality education and training that prepares a skilled workforce ready for the demands of our area employers,” he said. “This center will host our Career Academy partnerships and provide high school juniors and seniors with the unique opportunity to earn college credit at no charge, while still in high school.”
The new 27,000-square-foot building hosts programs in healthcare, business, construction, IT, agriculture, and CNC machining. And it is a testament to community-wide vision, leadership, and support, Kelly said.
In 2021, voters overwhelmingly passed a $40-million bond referendum to fund this project, and others across the EICC district. Over 88% of voters in Clinton County passed the referendum.
“Economic development, and the continued growth of businesses operating in our region and our state, requires a well-trained and skilled workforce. When voters supported the bond, they were endorsing EICC and expressing faith in the quality of education we provide, and faith in the students we serve,” said EICC Interim Chancellor Liang Chee Wee.
“This building reflects the value we place on the collaborative partnerships we’ve forged with local businesses and our deep commitment to our K-12 partners. We will provide educational opportunities for your students in state-of-the-art facilities with innovative learning tools that allow them to move from the classroom into careers,” Wee said.
“Your support made today’s celebration possible, and for that, we are profoundly thankful,” he added.
In the past two weeks, EICC also hosted a grand opening for the Muscatine Career Advancement Center and the Scott Community College Health Sciences Center. Both were bond-funded projects.