Iowa Lakes Students Prepared for Construction Industry

Construction students gather to show off their project.

(Emmetsburg, Iowa) Iowa Lakes Community College effectively equips students in Construction Technology with practical skills for a promising career in the construction industry by providing them with ample opportunities for hands-on projects. The college’s partnership with the City of Emmetsburg and the Emmetsburg Community Development Corporation in constructing a duplex at Rockport Development is just one example of how these students can showcase their abilities in real-world settings.

With construction ranking among the “Hot 50” jobs in Iowa and being the third highest growth industry in the United States, the College’s Construction Technology program equips students with hands-on experience, comprehensive education, and industry certifications to build successful careers.

“In a remarkable feat of craftsmanship and dedication, Iowa Lakes Construction Technology students have completed a great duplex, now available for sale. What sets this project apart is the exceptional quality of construction and the students’ unwavering commitment to incorporating energy-efficient technology throughout. From the project’s inception to its finish, these young builders were at the forefront, actively shaping every aspect. Witness firsthand the future of sustainable construction as you explore this duplex, a testament to the dedication of our students and the strides we’re making toward a greener tomorrow,” explained Corey Menning, Construction Technology Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor.

Under the guidance of Menning, students embark on real-life construction projects, gaining valuable knowledge in building residential and light commercial structures. Students actively participate through the entire construction process, from designing the home and laying out the lot to pouring concrete, framing walls, and performing finish carpentry.

Energy-efficient construction practices form a significant portion of the core curriculum, exposing students to the “house-as-a-system” concept and “green” building techniques. The program emphasizes the importance of constructing environmentally friendly homes that are cost-effective to maintain, enabling students to address volatile energy market challenges effectively.

“The completed energy-efficient duplex features 1455 square feet of thoughtfully designed space. The duplex offers a perfect blend of comfort and practicality with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The main suite, with its generous walk-in closet, offers a luxurious touch. At the same time, the two-car attached garage ensures convenience, and an outdoor covered patio ensures a place to relax,” revealed Menning.

The duplex will undoubtedly become an excellent residence for its fortunate buyer, but the students have reaped even more significant benefits through hands-on learning in the construction trade. As part of the program, students could acquire various industry certifications, such as Lead Abatement Training, Advanced Tyvek Installation and Flashing System Training, and 10-hour OSHA Safety, among others. These certifications give them the proven expertise and know-how to thrive in the construction sector.

Iowa Lakes offers the Last-Dollar Scholarship through Future Ready Iowa’s scholarship program to further support students pursuing careers in high-demand professions like Construction Technology. This financial aid option bridges the financial gaps for college expenses, encouraging Iowa residents, recent graduates, and adults seeking skill enhancement to take advantage of the program.

As the construction industry continues to flourish, Iowa Lakes Community College plays a crucial role in meeting the increasing job demand by providing students with a solid foundation of skills and practical work experience essential for thriving in this booming sector.

For more information about building a construction career or the Construction Technology program at Iowa Lakes, please visit