Hawkeye Community College plans for the future

Bond referendum March 7

Students interact with one another and their instructor during a physical science class at Hawkeye Community College. PHOTO COURTESY OF HAWKEYE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Hawkeye Community College is planning for its future. Voters will be asked to approve a $35 million bond referendum on Tuesday, March 7, to address our communities workforce needs. Since an existing levy is ending, this is a bond renewal at the existing tax rate.

More than 68% of all jobs require some form of postsecondary education or training beyond high school. Hawkeye’s two-phased plan includes improving vocational and career education in the skilled trades to create a Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Center by renovating and expanding an existing building. Construction, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, automotive and diesel technology programs would be housed under one roof, improving efficiency. Workforce projections in the skilled trades forecast a 15-20% increased demand for workers in Iowa by 2030.

Hawkeye would also add a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Learning Center with interactive virtual reality technology geared toward middle and high school students. The STEM Learning Center will connect middle and high school students to high-demand career pathways and to college. Reaching students in middle school is critical, as students decide by 8th grade if they are interested in a STEM career. More than 55% of all STEM careers require an associate’s degree or another post-secondary credential.

Hawkeye is only one of three institutions in Iowa to offer a Law Enforcement Academy, training cadets from throughout Eastern Iowa. The second phase includes expanding law enforcement training for new and current officers to help meet the growing need for law enforcement personnel. Locally, the Tama Police department, Toledo Police department, Tama County Sheriff’s Office, Grundy Center Police department, Grundy County Sheriff’s Office, La Porte City Police department, and the Dysart Police department have sent cadets through the academy and hired Hawkeye Police Science graduates.

Hawkeye is known for educating and training our workforce, which is vital to the economic health of our community. More than 92% of the students attending Hawkeye are from Hawkeye’s service region, and 92% of Hawkeye graduates stay in Iowa to live and work. Hawkeye trains our nurses, healthcare workers, police officers, emergency responders, welders, auto mechanics, truck drivers, and skilled trades to name a few. Additionally, Hawkeye helps individuals complete the first two years of their four-year degrees with the liberal arts transfer program.

In the Fall of 2022, North Tama Community Schools, Union Community Schools, and Gladbrook Reinbeck Community Schools had 180 high school students earning almost 1200 college credits, saving families more than $250,000 in future college tuition. Many of these students earning college credit continue their education at Hawkeye to earn their degrees. In the last 10 years, Hawkeye awarded degrees to 767 students from these school districts.

Hawkeye offers training services to businesses to help them reach their company goals. Hawkeye served more than 300 businesses in the region and provided training to nearly 2900 employees over the last four years.

Hawkeye’s bond renewal is Tuesday, March 7, 2023, and approval of this bond renewal will not change the property tax rate. Additional information on Hawkeye’s plans can be found at www.HawkeyeCollege.Edu/Bond-2023

Individuals may request an absentee ballot now through February 22, 2023. Absentee ballot request forms can be found online https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/pdf/absenteeballotapp.pdf