Loebsack Visits SCC Keokuk Campus, Discusses Importance of Jobs Training


Congressman Dave Loebsack visited SCC’s Keokuk campus on Monday to meet with College and community officials about the planned Industrial Technologies Training Center.

Before an audience of about 25 SCC administrators and faculty, area economic developers, and community members, Loebsack discussed how community colleges like SCC provide access to higher education and career training is critical to families and communities.

“This facility is going to help many folks get the education and training they need so they can be a part of the middle class.”

SCC President Dr. Michael Ash shared details of the planned Industrial Technologies Training Center and the recent $1 million federal Economic Development Administration grant that will go toward the construction of the $4.2 million facility. The remainder of the cost is being funded by SCC’s Building the Dream capital campaign.

The facility will feature spacious learning labs equipped with specialized training tools in robotics, hydraulics, pneumatics, electronics, CNC, PLC, pipe fitting, HVAC and welding. It will allow SCC to expand industrial training programs, including focused, short-term training, specialized certificate training, and full-scale diploma and degree programs.

SCC instructor Dave Rector says that the new facility will enable the College to train more students to fill jobs in local companies that remain unfilled.

“Not a week goes by that I don’t get an email or phone call from somebody looking for a qualified employee, but the cupboard’s bare,” notes Rector.

Rector continued that for people who want to improve their skill sets, SCC’s training programs directly address this, and that anything the College can do to bolster its offerings ultimately benefits workers, employers, and the community.

“It can lead to the improvement of the bottom line of everyone.”

KSB Bank President & CEO Joe Steil echoed Rector’s comments. “The new facility addresses the community’s key need: workforce development. This is one critical step that will help us accomplish what industry in Lee County, and especially Keokuk, is looking for.”

The Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission helped SCC secure and will administer the grant.

Mike Norris, the Commission’s director, says the new facility demonstrates the power of regional partnerships.

“We visited with SCC officials to understand how a new building could improve the program. That visit illustrated the importance of the advanced training modules and having adequate student space. It all adds up to being able to train people to make a living. We’re happy to be a part of the project.”

For more information about the Industrial Technologies Training Facility and SCC’s Building the Dream capital campaign, visit https://www.scciowa.edu/buildingthedream/.

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