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What is PACE?

Southwestern Community College is taking the necessary steps to provide quality academic and employment training to send qualified persons into the workforce to obtain and maintain employment in high-demand fields such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing, information technology, and transportation/logistics.

The Pathways for Academic Career Employment (PACE) program provides a Pathway Navigator to assist participants on their educational journey. The Pathway Navigator will work with participants to identify barriers to success and will work with participants to minimize those barriers by connecting the students to the appropriate community resources. The Pathway Navigator will also work with individuals to access available funding to assist with the cost of education.

PACE can provide assistance in the following areas:

  • Financial support
  • Educational support
  • Personal support
  • Career support


Middle-skill jobs continue to represent close to half of Iowa’s employment and encompass a wide range of occupations from construction supervisors and machinists to dental hygienists
and paralegals.

Middle-skill job opportunities can be found in all of Iowa’s industries from construction and manufacturing to finance & healthcare. In Iowa, they account for 50 percent of the jobs in the labor market, and many of them offer high pay with benefits. These jobs require more than a high school diploma, but not a four-year degree. Specifically, individuals who fill these jobs should have an associate’s degree, a certification or an apprenticeship.

Find Your Pathway

High School/HSED Certificate One-Year Diploma Two-Year Degree Degree
Nursing CNA
Nursing LPN/
Welding $11.28/hr. $15.60/hr. $18.10/hr. Welding AAS

These amounts are based on May 2012 southwest Iowa wage survey results. Actual wages may vary depending on location, demand, and additional experience.

Get Started

Apply NOW for the PACE Program - PACE Online Application

For more information on how you can increase your earning potential, contact Kelsey Hollen, Pathway Navigator, at 641.782.1417 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How do I qualify?

This program is designed for those who have limited income, and for those who have barriers that have prevented them from pursuing or meeting their educational or employment goals. If you identify with any of the following you could be eligible!

  • Low skilled
  • Dislocated worker
  • Unemployed
  • Underemployed
  • Earning an income at or below 250% of federal poverty level
2014 Poverty Guidelines

250% of federal poverty level subject to change.

Family Size Annual Income
1 $29,175 or less
2 $39,325 or less
3 $49,475 or less
4 $59,625 or less
5 $69,775 or less
6 $79,925 or less
7 $90,075 or less
8 $100,225 or less
9 $110,375 or less
10 $120,525 or less