The Iowa Western Community College Foundation has received a $100,000 grant from Google for general support and continued expansion of its skilled trades programs, the college announced Thursday.
The college recognizes the integral role of the trades in any vibrant community and is committed to providing quality career and technical education programs, said Iowa Western President Dan Kinney.
“Iowa Western Community College is grateful that Google is supporting the future generation of students in our growing career and technical programs,” he said in a press release from the college. “The generous donation from Google will allow the college to begin to expand offerings in fields such as welding, electrical, HVAC, logistics and other important career fields.”
Iowa Western is preparing to open career academies in Missouri Valley and Harlan. The Larry and Bunny Buss Regional Academy in part of the Trivium Life Services building in Missouri Valley will offer instruction in agriculture, construction, electrical and welding skills to high school students from Missouri Valley, Logan-Magnolia, Tri-Center and West Harrison-West Monona community school districts, as well as adults seeking to enhance their skills.
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The Harlan facility in the college’s Shelby County Center will offer electromechanical training for local companies and automotive-diesel, industrial technology, health care and trades instruction for students.
Iowa Western Community College’s dedication to career and technical education dates back to 1967, when the college first opened its doors; offering two vocational-technical programs to students.
Today, Iowa Western continues to address the workforce needs of its communities by offering more than 40 career and technical programs of study in areas such as electronic engineering, design technology, laser systems, robotics-automated systems engineering, welding, logistics, renewable energy, construction management, HVAC/R, plumbing, automotive and diesel.
“Google is proud to support Iowa Western and is committed to being a good neighbor in Council Bluffs by helping to invest in education for the people of Iowa — helping them to learn and live locally while gaining the skills of the future,” said Dan Harbeke, regional head of public policy and external affairs at Google. “Organizations like Iowa Western are helping to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow, and we are glad to be a part of it.”
New research reaffirms the key role the technology sector plays in creating new jobs and supporting local economies. Recently, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute released an update to a 2012 study demonstrating the major ripple effect the technology sector has on job creation in local metros. The research shows that, over the long-term, one technology job will generate over four additional jobs locally.
Specific to Iowa, a new economic impact analysis from the Economic Institute shows that Google is a critical contributor to local job growth and economic output and activity. In Iowa, 500-plus Google employees support an additional 954 indirect and induced jobs, for a total economic impact of $450 million.
The Iowa Western Community College Foundation was established in 1987 to support Iowa Western’s commitment to excellence in meeting the educational needs of its students and improving the quality of life in its communities.
Google’s data center in Council Bluffs came online in 2009. Since then, Google has invested more than $5 billion in Iowa and established a long-term commitment to the state. Google has created jobs for more than 900 people at its Iowa facility and has awarded more than $2 million to local schools and nonprofits in Iowa.