2 months, 2 weeks ago from JWCC
Trustees also receive an update on progress at the college's Workforce Development Center
The John Wood Community College Board of Trustees accepted a federal grant of $2.1 million over three years as part of funds awarded under the Trade Adjustment Act.
JWCC’s role will be to assist under prepared individuals to retool to move into local industries that focus on transportation and warehousing. Specifically, JWCC will upgrade the skills of individuals in transportation and distribution management, computer information systems and mechanical maintenance. JWCC will educate individuals to expand our workforce of computer support specialists, logisticians, operations managers and mechanical technicians.
The consortium involves colleges along the Mississippi from Minnesota to Louisiana with each focusing on varying aspects of transportation, distribution and logistics. In determining the specific needs of the region and gaps in the existing workforce the grant might address, JWCC met with Kohl Wholesale, Knapheide Manufacturing, ADM, Dot Foods, Titan Wheel International along with Blanche Shoupe of Workforce Investment Board #14 and members of the Great River Economic Development Foundation.
This will be the third Trade Adjustment Act award to JWCC. In the two previous TAA award cycles, JWCC was funded as part of Illinois based consortiums to develop programs first for the Illinois Green Economy Network and later for the Illinois Network for Advanced Manufacturing.
Trustees also received an update on progress at the College’s Workforce Development Center. Trustees toured the facility which opened four years ago this month to support the training needs of employers in JWCC’s district.
The facility is the only one of its kind in a 100 mile radius, and provides certificates and degrees in computer-aided design, computer-numeric control machining, electrical technology, construction, welding, industrial maintenance and truck driver training. All of the career and technical programs can be completed in two years or less and lead to careers in demand in this region that offer beginning salaries from $30,000 to $50,000.
“Students who complete a certificate or degree in any of the programs at the workforce development center are going to be sought after by regional employers,” Dr. John Letts, JWCC president said. “Many of our graduates have job offers before they complete their courses. It’s an incredible return on investment.”
More than 720 students have received training or pursued degrees and certificates at the Workforce Development Center since its opening in 2009. To date 486 have earned a certificate or degree in JWCC career and technical programs offered at the facility. In the last year alone JWCC provided customized training for 199 employees at the center or on the premises of 12 different employers throughout the region.
Even with the success of the center, JWCC still has additional capacity to train more people for jobs that are waiting to be filled in the manufacturing sector.
“It is amazing to me that more people aren’t taking advantage of training that all but guarantees a quality position and career with advancement opportunities,” Letts said. “That’s why we have been working so hard to communicate the new reality of manufacturing careers. The perception people have is that these programs lead to jobs with repetitive tasks in dirty work environments. Reality is that these are head-of-household careers in clean and modern facilities with automated processes.”
In other action, Trustees:
Approved implementation of an international student application fee between $150 and $250 to cover the cost of resources used to handle increased applications.
Approved the low bid of $20,352 from Schumacher Elevator Company for a two-year maintenance agreement. Schumacher is headquartered in Iowa, but employs local service technicians. Previously JWCC had annual agreements for elevator inspections. The new agreement also covers preventative maintenance, state inspections and all repairs during normal business hours.
Authorized a grant application to the Illinois Center for Specialized Support for $1500 to promote the Women in Agriculture Conference to be held on the JWCC campus in March 2014.
Authorized an application of $18,000 for a Disabled American Veterans grant to recruit volunteers and expand services to veterans through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.
The next regular meeting of JWCC Trustees will take place October 16 at 7 p.m. at JWCC’s Quincy campus.