EICC awarded $100,000 from Coronavirus Relief Fund Employer Innovation Fund Grant



Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) is excited to announce the college is one of 65 applicants to receive funding through Future Ready Iowa’s Coronavirus Relief Fund Employer Innovation Fund Grant. The program helps local employers, nonprofits, community colleges, high schools, private universities and the University of Iowa provide postsecondary training and education to Iowans whose employment has been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.  More than $4.3 million has been awarded to the winning projects, with EICC receiving $100,000. 

The goal of the EICC Coronavirus Employer Innovation Fund is to increase the number of students who complete short-term non-credit opportunities in three high-demand areas: Truck Driving, Manufacturing Awareness and Front Line Leadership programs. Grant funds will be used for to cover tuition costs for 88 Iowans in these high-demand programs, with the goal of placing all completers in jobs with local employers. 

These programs will be targeted to Iowans whose employment has been affected by or eliminated because of the coronavirus pandemic including low skilled workers, veterans, returning citizens, members of underrepresented communities, minorities, women, Iowans with disabilities, and low-income Iowans by working in partnership with Iowa Workforce Development programs and community-based organizations. Career assessment will be included to ensure participants understand career requirements and options.

In addition, partner companies within each program area will commit to hiring program completers and promoting the program graduates to other companies in their communities and through professional networks. This effort will help to meet the Future Ready Iowa goal of 70% of Iowans in the workforce having education or training beyond high school by the year 2025.

About the programs: 

Truck Driving:

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the employment growth in transportation in Iowa is 13% with annual projected job openings of 5,450. In the Iowa Quad Cities alone (Bettendorf, Blue Grass, Davenport, Eldridge and Long Grove) there are 56 trucking employers. Students must earn a Certified Learner’s Permit and pass a drug and alcohol screen and Department of Transportation physical in order to enroll in the course. The program includes six weeks of classroom and driving instruction. Upon completion, students are prepared to take the state performance exams for a CDL license, which occurs onsite. Day classes run Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and evening classes run Monday through Friday from 5 - 9:30 p.m. The program devotes a total of 40 hours of classroom instruction/lab and 200 hours in lab/range and behind the wheel. 

Manufacturing Awareness:  

This program was developed and launched by EICC and Iowa companies Clysar, Sears Seating, HNI, Clinton Regional Development Corporation and Citizens First Bank to specifically respond to the COVID shutdown. The Manufacturing Awareness program allows participants, particularly those whose jobs have been affected by or eliminated due to the coronavirus pandemic, the opportunity to learn about manufacturing career options. EMSI, a labor analytics company, ranks a number of positions in manufacturing as the highest ranked occupations in the six county region of EICC’s service area. The program includes 25 different courses which are offered online. It’s laid out in three sections beginning with three introductory classes (Forklift Safety, Intro to Assembly and Intro to Supply Chain Management), providing an overview of the manufacturing process, followed by ten additional classes. At the conclusion of these classes, students receive a Manufacturing Awareness Certificate. If a student chooses to continue completing 12 additional classes, each one an hour in length or less, the student will receive a Certificate in Manufacturing Fundamentals. A student has 90 days to conclude all courses to receive the certificates.

Frontline Leadership:

Labor market analytics company, EMSI, ranks First-Line Supervisors as one of the highest ranked occupations in the six county region of EICC’s service area. EICC’s Front Line Leadership program objectives are to understand the skills, behaviors and attitudes needed for effective leadership; provide tools for connecting and engaging teams and individual reports; understand the psychology of employee engagement and satisfaction; learn skills to analyze employee developmental needs and improve employee performance; learn communication skills needed to coach, provide feedback, initiate change and manage conflict; and develop skills in creating high performance teams. This program can be completed online via Zoom with extensive interaction between the trainer and students along with student activities, with students receiving a certification upon completion.

For more information about the grant or these short-term training options, please contact Paula Arends, Director of Workforce Innovation, at 563-336-3357 or parends@eicc.edu  

Toll-free 1-888-336-3907, email eiccinfo@eicc.edu