SHELDON—Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon has snapped on to a partnership that will be important to its future.

NCC’s board of trustees on May 20 unanimously approved a technical education program partnership with Snap-on Inc., a global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tools, diagnostics, equipment, software and service solutions.

“For approximately the last three years, Northwest Iowa Community College’s strategic initiative has been to develop a way for students to not have to purchase the very expensive tool sets when entering the automotive and light duty diesel and diesel technology programs,” said Steve Waldstein, the dean of applied technology and workforce at NCC, in a follow-up interview.

He explained more about the college’s partnership with Snap-on, a Kenosha, WI-based company.

“NCC has seen students over the years not be able to enroll in our automotive and light duty diesel and diesel technology programs due to the large cost of these individual tools, which at the current time are not included in any financial aid package awarded to students,” Waldstein said.

“We feel this partnership will allow students who cannot afford the tools to enroll in our transportation programs and get the knowledge that they need and be able to graduate with a new set of tools,” he said.

The college’s partnership with Snap-on will start the fall semester of the 2019-20 academic year for the automotive and light duty diesel technology students and the fall semester of 2020-21 for the diesel technology students.

“This partnership benefits NCC in multiple ways,” Waldstein said. “We believe that we have the top automotive and light duty diesel and diesel technology programs in the state of Iowa and we are partnering with what we feel is the innovative leader in tools for these two industries.”

The partnership includes the integration of certifications through the National Coalition of Certification Centers, or NC3, into the courses offered by the college’s automotive and light duty diesel and diesel technology programs.

“The certifications that our students will be earning will be in the areas of automotive diagnostics, precision measuring instruments, torque fundamentals, wheel service and alignment, battery starting and charging, multimeter, diesel diagnostics, off-road diesel technologies and tool safety,” Waldstein said.

As part of the college’s partnership with Snap-on, new equipment will be purchased and installed that will be used inside the automotive and light duty diesel and diesel technology labs and classrooms once the planned Building D renovation project has been finished.

“This partnership will in­­clude in floor hoists approximately 22 hoists, two new alignment racks, tire and wheel balancer, parts washers and, of course, toolboxes with over 23,000 individually laser-engraved tools for the automotive lab itself,” Waldstein said.

NCC’s diesel technology lab will have 48-foot scissor hoists, an alignment rack and more than 12,000 individually laser-engraved tools and toolboxes.

“In both labs, students will be swiping their current student IDs to gain access to the toolboxes and instructors will know who and what times students have been in these toolboxes,” Waldstein said.

“There also be furniture for our new classrooms in the automotive area and, of course, all of the NC3 training modules are included in this partnership,” he said.

Mark Brown, the college’s vice president of operations and finance, said NCC would not know how much money it would spend to fund its part of the program partnership until after the end of the 2018-19 academic year.

“The exact allocation has not yet been finalized, as we will need to wait till year end to see exactly how some of these funds finish out the year,” Brown said.

As far as Waldstein knows, this is the first time the college has partnered with Snap-on.

NCC is planning to be­­come a regional Snap-on integrated training facility for the automotive and light duty diesel and diesel technology industries.


RENOVATION PROJECT:

The Northwest Iowa Community College Board of Trustees on May 20 held a public hearing during which individuals could voice their opinions on the second construction bid package for the planned Building D renovation project. No public comments were received.

Board members will approve or reject bids for the second construction bid package for the renovation project during a special meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, inside Building D’s Room 402 on the Sheldon-based college’s campus via teleconference.

NCC’s automotive and light duty diesel and diesel technology programs — which are call Building D home — are temporarily being housed at 1204 Golf Course Road in Rock Valley because of the renovation project.

The college began renting the property from Montana 1204 LLC on May 1. The date for moving the programs out of the Rock Valley location is tentatively set for Aug. 31, 2020.