IOWA WESTERN ANNOUNCES $65 MILLION DOLLAR GRANT
(Atlantic) Iowa Western Community College in Atlantic announced the largest in-kind corporate contribution ever received by the college. The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon.
The grant received from Siemens PLM Software has a commercial value of $65.2 million. Siemens Senior Vice President of Human Resources Dan Malliet says the grant includes training and specialized software certification programs for students involved so they can be trained and be ready for the work force of the future.
“Engineer’s use this software all over the world to create the goods and services that you see around you,” said Malliet. “No doubt that this grant will enhance the career opportunities of students at Iowa Western, increase the availability of skilled workforces of Iowa and Nebraska businesses to help them grow. This is again what economic development should be all about. This is a win-win for the community and for kids and for economic growth.”
Malliet says it’s the goal of Siemens to continue to engage in community development with innovative schools. Iowa Western Community College in Atlantic plans to launch their Design Technology program this fall. It is the first of it’s kind for a two-year program. Student’s will receive cutting edge training. Jay Miller, a member of the Advisory Committee, explains more about the program.
“We’re talking about a virtual program where students can design, develop, introduce products to market, all virtually on a computer without ever having a company outlay cash for manufacturing,” said Miller. “So, that brings us to what design technology is, we’re talking products, we’re talking the tools and technologies that enable that, so design technology is the discipline or practice of utilizing those tools and technologies to build the right product, leveraging their unique expertise and knowledge of each individual company, utilizing state of the art tools and technologies, collaborating in a team environment in the most efficient and effective process possible to build the product right. That’s what design technology is all about.”
Miller stated that the program’s fit with Iowa Western couldn’t be any more perfect. The program will have a capacity of thirty students. Finally governor Terry Branstad spoke to the standing room only crowd about the importance of this Iowa Western expansion.
“I think the turnout here today is indicative of the enthusiasm and support that Iowa Western has and also Siemens and just the whole economic development initiative that is so evident in this part of the state,” said Branstad. “I’m excited to be here and I look forward to being back many times over the next four years as we bring more businesses and more jobs to this area and to the state of Iowa as a result of this great partnership.”
Governor Branstad says community colleges play a big role in bringing new jobs to the state.
“Congratulation to Iowa Western, to Siemens, to Atlantic, this is wonderful thing,” said Branstad. “One of my ambitious goals is 200-thousand new jobs in Iowa in the next five years. Community Colleges are a very important partner in that, private business is a very important partner in that and state government needs to work together with you. We are very excited about this. Community Colleges have already done a lot of good things with the job training program, but this is really creating the jobs of the future.”
Iowa Western Community College President Dan Kinney closed by saying they are not finished making this significant education program a reality as the space still needs to be renovated and prepared for the classrooms and labs for the program. Kinney says the program also needs to be marketed to make students aware of the opportunities, and they must pay for all of the startup costs that include the faculty that will be needed.