Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, at 5:30 p.m., in the board room of the Administration Center.

The board approved consent agenda items, including the tentative agenda, payables, and depository resolution.

The board re-appointed the following members to the Education Foundation board for the 2021-22 year: Amy Hook of Creston, Randy Huewe of Creston, Rick Oshel of Osceola, Allen Pohren of Red Oak, Jerry Smith of Osceola, Alec Turner of Corning, and Dr. Marge Welch, SWCC representative.

Tia Samo, SWCC chief financial officer, told the board a memo, detailing the college’s asset protection, was included in this month’s board packet. Samo reminded the board insurance coverage information was shared with the board by Tyler Insurance Services during the September 2021 meeting.

During the president’s report, Welch explained to the board she has been communicating regularly with the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC) in Osceola regarding a grant they are pursuing to assist with the construction of a facility to provide training resources for industry. Welch said the CCDC is utilizing the Southern Iowa Council of Governments (SICOG) to assist with the grant writing process for this federal Economic Development Administrative (EDA) grant.

Welch said the proposed facility would be constructed next to the SWCC Osceola Center and the college would able to utilize the facility, which could be very exciting for students.

“We would be able to offer trainings there and we could have students working side-by-side with skilled workers,” Welch explained. “High school students would be able to earn additional certifications while still in high school.”

Welch said area high schools could use the space to serve as a regional academy center.

“If you make the training center large enough, you can have multiple programs going on at one time,” Welch stated.

Welch said SICOG will complete the grant application this fall. If approved, construction on the facility could start as early as spring 2022.

Smith, the SWCC board’s representative on the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT), reported on the most recent IACCT meeting. He said the Iowa community college legislative liaison shared information regarding the current legislative redistricting efforts. Smith said the first round of the redrawn legislative and congressional district maps did not pass the Iowa Legislature. The second redistricting proposal will go to the state legislature by October 21.