Integrated Education and Training

Anticipated growth in the Wright County industry sector has opened the door for new programming offered through Iowa Central Community College’s Adult Education and Literacy Program and the Workforce partners. Integrated Education and Training (IET) is not a new concept, but it will be new to Wright County. Iowa Central will be building on past successful IET projects offered in Buena Vista County where Industrial Maintenance workforce preparation and workplace skills were blended with English Language Learning and High School Equivalency Diploma classes.

The Adult Education and Literacy Programs has been partnering with Region 5 Workforce, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation, PACE (Pathways for Academic Career and Employment), and Youth Employment programs to prepare the current workforce with education and training that meets the needs and expectations of Region 5 businesses. This preparation starts with basic education services such as English Language Learning and High School Equivalency Diploma classes. To move people more efficiently through the process, workforce preparation and work place skills will now be weaved into current programming. Students will be engaged in a process that not only prepares them for employment, but begins them on a pathway to an economically sustaining career opportunity.

Going beyond basic education, IET is nationally defined as a service approach that provides adult education and literacy activities concurrently and contextually with workforce preparation activities and workforce training for a specific occupation for the purpose of educational and career advancement. The presence of Prestage Farm has sparked the need for an Industrial Maintenance Career Pathway program that incorporates all the elements of Integrated Education and Training. In addition, Iowa Central has gained experience in the region by supporting Daybreak Foods in providing in-house classes to build work vocabulary and workplace knowledge for their employees. This Iowa Central IET program will include education and training components that are common to many industries in Wright and surrounding counties served by Region 5 Workforce and Iowa Central Community College.

Iowa Central Community College Career Academy in Eagle Grove is equipped with classrooms and current technology to accommodate English Language Learning classes and a state of the art Industrial Maintenance lab for IET. Plans are currently underway to offer both of these programs at no cost to participants.

The population of people whose first language is not English has been growing in Wright County. According to the American Community Survey Estimates 2011-2015, Region 5 has a population of 1,621 or 1.9 percent that speak English less than well and Wright County has the highest rate with 472 people or 3.9 percent of the population. ELL classes will be offered at the Eagle Grove Career Academy starting this fall. Adult students of all cultures are welcome. To best accommodate needs of parents and working adults, ELL classes will be offered in the afternoon and evening. Students will participate in an orientation process to assess their educational needs. Real-life topics are covered each session, including: Education and Family, Healthcare, Digital Literacy, Transportation, Food and Nutrition, Housing and Banking, Community Resources, Soft Skills and more. Students will also be able to access online learning in addition to class time.

The IET program is open to adults who may be incumbent workers or unemployed people who are seeking entry level positions in the Industry sector. The course will be offered in the evening beginning with an orientation process conducted by a Career Navigator that includes assessments and goal setting. The Navigator will continue to meet with participants throughout the IET session to provide wrap around services to assist students to overcome obstacles that would interfere with attendance and program completion. Classes will be taught by an Iowa Central Industrial Technology instructor and the Career Navigator with support for English Language Learner needs. Course work will include three areas of instruction: Workforce preparation such as resumes, applications, teamwork and workplace communication, interview skills and practice; Workplace preparation such as an introduction to manufacturing skills including workplace safety, basic precision measurements, and introduction to mechanical processes and math concepts; and support for ELL needs. Students completing the program will be able to continue on an Industrial Maintenance Career Pathway by entering employment in Region 5 or entering into the non-credit Industrial Maintenance diploma program.

Iowa Central Community College is currently advertising for afternoon and evening ELL instructors. The job posting can be found on the Iowa Central website. Applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree in education. Interested applicants can contact Ann Waynar, Adult Education/Literacy Coordinator at 574-1959 or Waynar@iowacentral.edu.

Iowa Central Community College is excited to grow opportunities in the region and connect with local employers and people in the area looking to improve their English skills or embark on an Industrial Maintenance career! Look for more information to be available this fall.

Ann Waynar is adult education/ literacy coordinator/ HiSET chief examiner at Iowa Central Community College.