Iowa Western Community College receives $1M career academy grant
Iowa Western Community College was awarded a $1 million competitive grant through the Career Academy Incentive Fund to prepare more high school students for success in college, postsecondary training and the workforce. The college will use the grant to increase access to career academy programs in high-demand fields through a new regional center called Southwest Iowa Technical Career Hub (SWITCH). Located in Hastings, the center will serve students from six districts in southwest Iowa — East Mills, Fremont-Mills, Glenwood, Griswold, Sidney and Stanton. Students in partnering school districts will participate in industry partnerships and career and technical education programs, while earning high school and college credit. Programs offered will include industrial maintenance, health care, construction technology and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). The Career Academy Incentive Fund was established by a 2019 law that extends a statewide penny sales tax for school infrastructure, called Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE), through January 2051. At least $1 million will be awarded annually to support career academy partnerships. This is the sixth round of awards. Applications for a seventh round of funding through the Career Academy Incentive Fund will be open in August. More information is available on the Iowa Department of Education’s website.