Democrat lieutenant governor candidate tours Marshalltown Community College
Marshalltown Community College’s machine trades and nursing programs were the focus of Wednesday’s visit from Sen. Rita Hart, Democratic lieutenant governor candidate.
She is the running mate of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell and said what she saw at MCC facilities is important to their campaign.
“What I’m seeing at the machining part and what I’m seeing at the nursing end of it is what is so necessary here in the state of Iowa,” she said. “We have these skilled worker shortages and the community colleges are the places where they provide that kind of training.”
During the tour, led by Iowa Valley Community College District Director of Governmental Affairs, Hart visited the college’s tool and die facility. While there, she spoke with machine trades faculty member Al Parks.
Parks said there are high-paying jobs in the machine trades, but many students don’t get a chance to develop an interest when in grade school. He said he focuses on outreach with his program, going to places like Miller Middle School.
Hart, a grade school English teacher for over two decades, said she and Hubbell want to expand such learning opportunities to Iowans. She said the same thing after touring the college’s nursing classroom and speaking with faculty member Jill Stufflebeam.
During that segment of the tour, Hart saw the lifelike mannequins used by MCC nursing students to practice their diagnosis and treatment skills. Stufflebeam said the MCC nursing program is among the leaders in the state.
Hart said all of the state’s community colleges “provide opportunity for people to step into these positions that are open, that are high-paying and that the state of Iowa needs” and that she hopes to see more Iowans taking advantage of community college programs to progress in their careers and lives.
“It just solidifies my understanding of how important it is to support community colleges and why Fred and I are so interested in working to get the appropriate funding so they can continue to do these great things,” Hart said of the tour.
She also spoke briefly about tornado recovery in Marshalltown.
“I totally understand a little bit about what this town has gone through — I came from Charles City, Iowa and we went through a tornado there … 50 years ago,” Hart said. “It truly is a challenge to any community.”
She praised Marshalltown’s recovery efforts and said she would spend time in the city to look at “how the city is reacting” and take in ongoing efforts.
“It’s a great community that steps up and has to figure out ways to take a tragedy and turn it into an opportunity,” Hart said.
The Hubbell-Hart ticket is set to face the incumbent Republican duo of Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg in the November general election.
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