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Many hands make light work

As a child I remember my grandmother reminding me that many hands make work light. As a child, this was true when we collected eggs, walked beans and washed dishes after dinner. As an adult this continues to be true. But many hands not only make work light, these same “hands” produce better results, improve our response time, address our mission and they build relationships that pay dividends into the future.

So much of 2020 was spent dealing with the detrimental impacts of COVID-19 and the work was, and continues to be, hard. Hard work that brought many hands together in collaboration to address important work. These collaborations made a difference in significant ways and they reminded us of the advantages of making work light.

In the spring, Iowa Valley partnered with Raymon Company and many other community partners to distribute masks on campus in April and May. This collaboration not only supported public health, but it gave us the opportunity to connect with our neighbors at a time when many were feeling disconnected.

This summer, we also collaborated with Marshall County and the Judicial Branch to convert the Orpheum Theater from a cultural and arts center into a makeshift court house. The space now allows our citizens more timely access to the judicial system in a socially distanced setting.

The start of fall brought an internal collaboration in response to the derecho. Ellsworth Community College faculty and staff joined forces with Marshalltown Community College colleagues to quickly stagger the fall semester start date from the traditional single start date to three to allow time to address the major damage on the Marshalltown campus while ensuring student access and success.

Most recently, Iowa Valley Continuing Education and Marshalltown Community College built a team of local partners including Marshalltown Community School District, MICA, and local employers to pursue an Iowa Workforce Development Coronavirus Relief Fund Employer Innovation grant to create a short-term training opportunity to allow local citizens to explore welding, machining, and electro-mechanical systems careers.

Someday when I look back at 2020, I know my memories will be a mix of the struggles and the victories. Those memories of victories will include many hands. So when the work and stress of 2020 start to become too much to bear, remember, many hands make light work and give a hand to all the local collaborators who are making 2020 better.

——

Dr. Kristie Fisher is Chancellor

of Iowa Valley Community College District

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