DEWITT, Iowa — Update:
Voters have approved a proposal to develop Clinton Community College in Dewitt, Iowa. Unofficial results showed the referendum passed with more than 70% of voters in support.
If voters in Jackson and Clinton County approve a March 2nd bond referendum vote, a brand new Clinton Community College facility will be built in Dewitt, Iowa.
The school needs the funds in order to move forward with the new project. Otherwise, the school will need the funds from somewhere else, or another vote to bring the career technical education center to town.
What is now an empty field in Dewitt could be a new Career and Technical Education Center by fall of 2022. Clinton Community College president Brian Kelly says the prospect of the project is an opportunity to expand services to a new community.
“It’s an opportunity in a community that we have not had a presence in. We’re currently underserved in our ability to offer career and technical training at these career academies and CTE Centers will really help.”
Clinton Community College has received $1 million dollars to help go towards the project. That money is coming from the state of Iowa department of education. Kelly saying, “The state support really shows a commitment from the state to recognizing our vision.”
The new facility will bring trade programs in six different areas to Dewitt. Those include agriculture, business, construction technology, CNC machining, healthcare, and information technology.
High Schools within the community college’s reach would benefit from the program, with students able to participate in the trade programs while still in school. The programs let students still in high school get a jump on moving directly into the workforce or an Eastern Iowa Community College associates degree program.
Kelly says it’s a way to learn a skill that could help the students later in life. “We know that many of our students, as much as 40 percent in some areas, never engage in post high school education. So this gives them an opportunity to get a skill or learn a trade where they might not have had that opportunity before in Clinton or Jackson County.”
It’s hands on experience that would otherwise not be available. Kelly saying, “What this does is really gives students in high school the chance to get real life experiences on the equipment they'll be using in the industry at a very young age.”
If the referendum passes in March, Kelly says the process to get the building completed will start quickly. “If we’re successful with the referendum we would begin the planning and construction phases almost immediately.” It means the empty field in Dewitt could see students, teachers, and classes as soon as fall of 2022.