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College/business partnership works

By Staff | Mar 24, 2011

Both business and Iowa Lakes Community College showed again Wednesday how a great partnership can be forged between the college and industry.

The college board of trustees agreed to a really great deal on a lease for a $32,000 sprayer for this planting season. The cost is absolutely nothing.

Fast Manufacturing of Mountain Lake, Minn. is letting the college use the new farm sprayer at no charge. They see it as an opportunity to introduce their product to young people entering agriculture.

A hats-off has to go to board member Pat Kibbie for arranging the deal.

This is just one more example of the win-win relationship that Iowa Lakes Community College is continually fostering with businesses not just locally but nationally – and even internationally.

Through business retraining agreements, the college is able to help keep area businesses and industry abreast of needed training, including upgrades in technology.

The college wind turbine and energy technology program has also received gifts in both money and equipment. The relationship between the college wind program and industry continues to improve. One only had to see how many wind energy companies were at the program’s recent job fair.

The college also has a number of active advisory committees comprised of professionals who willingly give their advice about their fields.

The college continues to receive gifts on a regular basis from businesses and individuals who understand the value of having both arts and sciences transfer programs and vocational education right here in our area.

By now, the value of a community college education should be abundantly clear. Community college students tend to be from the local area and they also tend to stay local, bolstering one of industry’s greatest needs – trained professionals.

Iowa Lakes Community College has demonstrated the reality of this concept admirably.

If businesses have shown time and time again their appreciation of the contribution that community colleges make to our state’s economy, then perhaps our legislators should too. While Sen. Jack Kibbie and Rep. John Wittneben have shown their unflagging support for community colleges, then perhaps other legislators should as well.

Ask your lawmakers how they support Iowa community colleges – and then ask them to prove it.

There is no better investment in Iowa’s economic future.