Iowa Lakes Community College Secures Nearly $250,000 To Launch An Industrial Maintenance Apprenticeship Program On Algona Campus

(Algona, Iowa) Iowa Lakes Community College secures a $249,852 grant from the Coronavirus Relief Registered Apprenticeship Incentive Grant Program funded through the Federal CARES Act. Iowa Lakes will use the grant funds to create an industrial technician lab on the Algona Campus.

The addition of the lab will allow Iowa Lakes to pilot an Industrial Technician Apprenticeship program with the capability of replicating the Electrical Apprenticeship program currently being offered at the Spirit Lake Campus.

“This opportunity to create a technical training hub at the Algona Campus is wonderful. We haven’t had many positive experiences attributed to COVID-19, but this is definitely a positive!” exclaimed Jolene Rogers, Iowa Lakes Executive Director of Community and Business Relations.

With the grant funds, Iowa Lakes will purchase simulators and educational materials to foster learning and reinforce workplace competencies. The first steps at Iowa Lakes in developing the Industrial Technician Apprenticeship program include securing the standards, approving the curriculum, and installing equipment.

Rogers continued, “When Future Ready Iowa posted this grant opportunity, we immediately reached out to area manufacturers and asked in what positions they could use apprentices. The industrial maintenance technician position was at the top of the list.”

Gary Schmidt, the Industry Training Programmer at Iowa Lakes, currently coordinates existing continuing education apprenticeship programs and will lead this project. Having industry-focused labs at both the Algona and Spirit Lake Campus will allow employees to build essential technical skills and assist individuals who would like to secure employment with the competencies industry needs.

Essential skills classes will be offered in conjunction with the Apprenticeship programming and will include workplace communications, team building, and problem-solving. The Essential Skills courses will be held virtually, with 120 hours of hands-on training at the Algona Campus.

Additionally, Iowa Lakes Career Coaches are available to assist individuals with developing a career plan, with various scholarships available for individuals seeking to join the Industrial Maintenance Short-Term Training program.

“At Iowa Lakes, we want to provide options. We are dedicated to partnering with industry to supply a productive workforce and assist individuals in achieving meaningful employment,” stated Rogers.

Federal CARES Act funds support putting people back to work or enhancing their skills, aligning with the Governor’s Future Ready Initiative to have a certified workforce. The Coronavirus Relief Registered Apprenticeship Incentive Grant Program focuses on opportunities specifically for Registered Apprenticeships opportunities.

Registered Apprenticeships are an employer-driven model, combining on-the-job learning with classroom instruction, providing the apprentice with a nationally recognized credential, and the employers with a skilled worker at the end of the program. The ‘earn and learn’ model of apprenticeship programs helps apprentices learn essential skills for the modern workplace and helps employers create the highly skilled workforce needed to be competitive.

For more information about apprenticeship programs currently offered at Iowa Lakes Community College, visit

For More Information:

Jolene Rogers, Iowa Lakes Executive Director of Community & Business Relations, at or 712-362-0431