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Iowa Lakes Joins IA Association of Business & Industry in “Elevate Advanced Manufacturing” Campaign

September 27, 2013

The Elevate Advanced Manufacturing campaign, promoted by the Iowa-Advanced Manufacturing (I-AM) Consortium and Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI), has announced the launch of “Iowa Manufacturing Week” beginning with a formal proclamation from Governor Branstad at the Capitol building in Des Moines on Sept. 30. 

Iowa Lakes Community College is a part of the I-AM Consortium which includes all community colleges in the state.  The college’s focus in the Consortium is on welding – an integral part of numerous manufacturing businesses in this region.  The welding lab will be going through a major transformation and upgrade.  When that work is complete, a grand opening celebration will be planned for area manufacturers and the public.

Students in the Welding program at Iowa Lakes will have an opportunity during Iowa Manufacturing Week to meet with a national recruiter who will summarize the type of jobs – and wages – that Welding graduates are receiving.  Sue Anne Stoermer works with business development for Aventure Staffing.  She is an Iowa Lakes graduate who works with area manufacturers in recruiting employees.  Stoermer will outline what skills and work habits area companies are looking for in their employees.

“This will give our students an opportunity to start looking at their future and to set a goal while they are going through the Welding program here at Iowa Lakes,” said Emily Gottsche, Welding instructor.

Manufacturing contributes the largest share of Iowa’s gross domestic product (GDP) at an annual level of $25.4 billion, or nearly 18 percent of the state’s economy. Iowa ranks sixth among all states in the percentage of total GDP derived from the manufacturing sector.

Besides the efforts at Iowa Lakes, numerous activities are occurring throughout the week in Iowa.  Those Iowa Manufacturing Week events include:

Sept. 30 – Oct. 4: Iowa’s Governor will kick off the week on Sept. 30 with a 9 a.m. news conference in the State Capitol Building, Room G9. He will then conduct a statewide tour, visiting facilities to understand the challenges facing advanced manufacturers. The tour list includes:

  • Adair: Agri-Drain
  • Anamosa: Bennett Machine and Fabricating, Inc.
  • Atlantic: Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling
  • Audubon: Quality Machine of Iowa
  • Clarinda: Lisle Corporation
  • Corydon: East Penn Manufacturing
  • Denison: Bohlmann
  • Independence: Wapsie Valley Creamery
  • Osceola: Miller Products
  • Red Oak: Red Oak Manufacturing

Tuesday, Oct. 1

Southeastern Community College

  • 14th Annual Regional Manufacturers’ Appreciation Golf Outing and Luncheon

Wednesday, Oct. 2

Eastern Iowa Community College’s Blong Technology Center

  • 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.: Open House

Thursday, Oct. 3 is “Elevate Day.” In a statewide effort, the “Elevate” campaign promotes careers and training opportunities within advanced manufacturing. The following community colleges will be holding informational events:

Ankeny: Des Moines Area Community College

  • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Open House/Tours of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing

Council Bluffs: Iowa Western Community College

  • 11:00 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Luncheon to discuss new technology building and benefits to manufacturing program

Marshalltown: Marshalltown Community College (IVCCD)

  • 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Open House 

Ottumwa: Indian Hills Community College

  • 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Tours & Lunch (Main Campus) 
  • 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Welding Tech Tours (North Campus)

Waterloo: Hawkeye Community College

  • 10:00 a.m. – Noon: Open House; CNC/Welding using virtual welder and 3D printer

Friday, Oct. 4 is Manufacturing Day ( – an effort of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)  - designed to address common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. 

The following public tour events are scheduled (links to full event details included):

Community Colleges:

  • Fort Dodge: Iowa Central Community College Presentation & Panel
  • Davenport: Junior Achievement Event at the Blong Technology Center (Eastern Iowa Community College)

 Additional advanced manufacturing events are being held throughout the month of October, including:

  • Oct. 10 – Business & Industry Day at the Delaware County Fairgrounds Pavilion for students of West Delaware, Maquoketa Valley, and Edgewood Colesburg, Begins at 8:30 a.m. 
  • Oct. 10 – Career Fair at Delaware High School (partnered with NICC)
  • Oct. 15 – Legislative Event/Executive Exchange – Norplex LLC in Postville, 8 a.m.
  • Oct. 16 –NCRC Testing 1-4 pm/ Career Fair 3:30-6pm at AEA 267, 9184 265th Street, Clear Lake, IA 
  • Oct. 19 – 26 – Kirkwood Community College: 30+ manufacturers will open their doors to the public as part of the Advancing the Future Tour -
  • Oct. 23 – Legislative Event – NICC & Unison Solutions in Dubuque, 8 a.m.
  • Oct. 25–Legislative Event – NICC & Henderson Manufacturing, 8 a.m.
  • Oct. 29 – EICC Manufacturing Career Fair – 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Blong Technology Center
  • Oct. 29 –Program Fair at NICC (500+ students will attend Calmar campus)

“Advanced manufacturing jobs represent 14 percent of Iowa’s employment,” says Mike Ralston, president of ABI. “We are working to build a positive public perception of these careers by addressing misconceptions about poor work environments, safety issues and low wages. The truth is that advances in technology have changed the industry, transforming how manufacturing work is performed and created a demand for more and higher paid skilled workers. It’s big business for Iowa, and we need to spread the word.”

The Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (I-AM) is an Iowa community college initiative to elevate advanced manufacturing, funded through a $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program.

Learn more about Elevate Advanced Manufacturing at

For More Information:

Shauna Donovan, Grant Writer, at 712-362-0418

Emily Gottsche, Welding program instructor at 712-852-5272

Questions or comments? Please email us at or call 712-362-2604 or 800-521-5054.
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