Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) plans to expand career and technical education opportunities became a reality Tuesday night, with more than 70 percent of voters in the college’s service area of Clinton, Jackson, Muscatine, Scott and portions of neighboring counties supporting the college’s 40 million bond referendum.
“We’re very excited and grateful to see this important initiative move forward,” said EICC Chancellor Don Doucette. “We are thankful to our partners and the communities we serve for showing tremendous support in ensuring all members of our communities have affordable and equitable access to the educational opportunities.”
The funding will be used for new and expanded career training facilities at all three of EICC’s Clinton, Muscatine and Scott Community College main campuses. It will also be used for a new facility in DeWitt, expansion of programming at the college’s current Maquoketa training facility located next to Maquoketa High School and a new agriculture education facility in Scott County. The expansion will allow for increased services for all EICC students as well as those in the college’s high school Career Academies. Because of this, a number of area school boards approved resolutions in support of the referendum.
Career academies provide the opportunity for current high school students to receive hands-on career training, and college-level credits, while still in high school. They especially answer a training need for those students who might not normally continue their education past high school, providing them with skills they can use to enter the job market.
“Our rural towns and counties are especially underserved by career and technical education opportunities,” Doucette said. “These facilities will bring needed CTE programming within closer reach of rural communities as well as meet the ongoing needs of business and industry by developing a skilled workforce.”
Work on the new facilities will begin as early as this coming fall, with completed facilities expected to open in late 2022 or early 2023. To learn more about the college’s plans visit eicc.edu/referendum