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A Vital Workforce Cog in Kirkwood Community College

April 20, 2022 | Economic Development & Workforce

Kirkwood Community College

Living in Iowa, its likely you categorize as either a Hawkeye fan or a Cyclone fan. When it comes to NFL football, maybe a Packers, Chiefs, Bears, or Vikings fan. Or perhaps the biggest debate of them all; Cardinals or Cubs fan. Rival teams aside, there is one thing our region can all get behind- the topnotch workforce solutions Kirkwood Community College is helping to create on a daily basis.

Since 1966, Kirkwood has played an important role in the community, offering credit and non-credit courses to their students. Justin Hoehn, Director of Media & Legislative Relations, spoke about how the Kirkwood connection runs deep in our region, especially in our workforce. “Kirkwood is such a vital cog for our economic well-being in the region. From two-year degrees, certificates, and diplomas to our outstanding workforce training programs, you’d be hard pressed to find someone in the area that doesn’t have a connection to Kirkwood.” Hoehn added, “One of the things that Kirkwood does is train the current and future workforce with the tools they need to be successful, and the organizations they’re working for to be successful as well.”

While a large part of Kirkwood is dedicated to educating the current 17,000 students, their other efforts include helping local companies solve workforce issues. Amy Lasack, Executive Director of Continuing Education and Training Services, stated how their training programs aren’t developed in a boardroom, but instead from local company input. “We have such a strong relationship within the community that companies will call us and say, ‘we have this issue, how can you help us solve this?’ They may be bringing us an issue today that we didn’t know about last week.”

When Lasack and her team receives this kind of outreach, their next course of action is to find the right people to bring to the table to help resolve the issue at hand. “Our big focus is on collaboration where we bring lots of employers and other decision makers together to discuss how we can build a training program. We are able to get all these people around the table at the same time and figure out how to create a solution.”

This type of catered problem solving doesn’t come with a hefty price tag, as Kirkwood has lots of funding available. “We have the funding, even for small businesses,” stated Lasack. “Once we hear from an employer that they need something, then we see who else is having this same issue. If we can find 5 other employers, and they’re all training on the same thing, then this is much more affordable for all.”

Many companies are continuing to seek out employees to fill their bench, and Kirkwood is ready to sub in to help stack up their starting lineup. If your organization is looking for assistance on finding your next teammate, reach out to Kirkwood’s Corporate Training Department at 319-398-5623. They will help guide you to the right place and will get the right people involved.