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Jason Anderson

Director of workforce and economic development at NCC in Sheldon

SHELDON—Jason Anderson went to school to support local development and would up supporting small business from a school.

Growing small-town commerce has always been Anderson’s vocation since he graduated from West Sioux High School in Hawarden to pursue a degree in public administration.

“I guess that would be my mission — to make us a viable partner and an asset to our area businesses and communities,” Anderson said.

He has been at NCC for more than nine years, serving as the director of workforce and economic development. After staff restructuring in 2018, Anderson kept his title but became head of the department.

Most of his days are spent designing customized training programs for companies across N’West Iowa.

“Our department is kind of unique where we’re really all about reaching out to our area partnerships. We’re working as a liaison between our area businesses and our college,” Anderson said. “Oftentimes, most people just think we’re about credit programs, right? But really, our department is about the other side of that and being able to offer a noncredit environment.”

The coronavirus pandemic disrupted all facets of the education field, but the labor developer has been hard at work getting back up to speed. One initiative that’s set to launch in the upcoming fall semester is a welding apprenticeship. Partnering with local high schools, students will be able to gain dual credit to finish high school and start college.

“What we’re doing is giving them a pathway,” he said.

Whether it’s raising the next generation or improving on the current workforce, Anderson and NCC are there to get students the skills they need to succeed.