IVCCD excited to welcome four new industrial job training partners
The Iowa Valley Community College District, with its campuses in Marshalltown, Grinnell and Iowa Falls, has always sought to be a vanguard in preparing its students for the jobs of the future, and its leaders consistently seek new partnerships to help make that goal a reality.
During the most recent meeting on Sept. 14, the board of directors officially approved welcoming four new businesses — Bruin Manufacturing of Marshalltown, Aur Iowa Farm LLC of St. Anthony, River Valley Pipe of Iowa Falls and Colewell Automation of Montezuma — to its industrial jobs training program and committed $600,000 toward the program. As longtime residents of this area know, Bruin is anything but a new business and has had a longstanding presence in Marshalltown, but it is also open to companies that plan to expand.
“Being a key player in assisting these new businesses in our region is important to us. It’s in our mission that we’re going to have these partnerships and help these businesses grow,” IVCCD Vice President of Continuing Education and Training Jacque Goodman said.
In an ever-shifting job market with the necessary skills constantly evolving, programs like these are mutually beneficial to the community college, businesses seeking to recruit employees, local school districts hoping to grow their enrollment and communities looking to attract new residents. Kate Bowermaster, the marketing and culture coordinator at Bruin, has seen it firsthand.
“Our partnership with Iowa Valley has exceeded any expeditions I had early on. We currently utilize 260F and 260E grants and also have an employee taking classes to further his education in toolmaking,” she said. “This is our second toolmaker to utilize classes while working full time. This is one way we can show our commitment to them and that comes back to benefit Bruin with the knowledge they gain. Going forward, we will not only stay competitive in our industry, but we will be leaders in it!”
As Goodman noted, the skill sets for some of these high-tech jobs require specific training, so companies aren’t able to simply pull anyone off the street and put them to work. Because of that specificity, it often makes the most sense for prospective employees to learn directly from the employers, but IVCCD staff also help out wherever they can.
“It’s very specific to the type of manufacturing that they do, but we also work with our faculty, especially in the industrial maintenance area and the machining area,” Goodman said. “These businesses spend a lot of upfront money training people, and this just helps offset some of that initial expense.”
Although the training program won’t cover every expense businesses incur, Goodman hopes it will give them a leg up in an increasingly competitive job market, especially in the post-COVID landscape. Neysa Hartzler, IVCCD’s business outreach coordinator, said her conversations with top executives at these companies often revolve around how to best train new employees, CPR and OSHA compliance and find future leaders they may promote from within in the future.
“I’m kind of the middleman between getting the training going at the company and figuring out their needs,” Hartzler said.
And one of the most attractive aspects of these high-tech jobs is the high dollar pay: trainees who complete these programs can expect to make upwards of $25 an hour once they begin working full time for these companies.
“The wages certainly will help because (with) Marshalltown being so close to Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Des Moines and Ames, where they could go make more money. People are willing to commute, and so, with having the jobs here, we hopefully aren’t having as many people commute out,” Goodman said.
Contact Robert Maharry
at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or