The Winnebago Industries Foundation on Feb. 24 announced it is providing $500,000 as part of its ongoing support of the John V. Hanson Career Center in Forest City.
This innovative project aligns resources from North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) and the Forest City, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, Lake Mills and North Iowa Community School Districts.
The initiative will provide high school students with key educational opportunities in high demand and well-paying areas related to advanced manufacturing, construction trades, Information Technology, and healthcare.
Students will earn college credit by enrolling in NIACC classes at the Career Center. This comes at no cost to the student or their parents. Textbooks, tools, and equipment are also provided to the students.
“Our region is rich in talent," said Winnebago Outdoors President Huw Bower. "We see these vital educational opportunities as having great alignment with the current and future needs of the North Iowa area and Winnebago Industries.
"This multi-year support from the Winnebago Industries Foundation to area education totaling $500,000 represents a portion of the ongoing and long-term commitment of Winnebago Industries to be an integral part of our North Iowa communities.”
Funding provided by the Winnebago Industries Foundation will specifically support the Advanced Manufacturing Academy powered by Winnebago, which will expose students to a wide variety of skills necessary to be successful in today's manufacturing workforce. Students will gain technical, drafting and print reading skills as well as the opportunity to put designs into practice with hands-on projects.
“We are thrilled to have Winnebago Industries as a partner in the John V. Hanson Career Center,” said NIACC President Steve Schulz. “Their involvement underscores the importance of this work and how strong partnerships with local industry can create opportunities for students and provide a pipeline to the local workforce. We look forward to the many work-based learning opportunities our students will have with Winnebago Industries.”
The John V. Hanson Career Center is scheduled to open beginning in the fall of 2021 and will accommodate a minimum of 80 students per semester.