U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra’s slogan is he will deliver results for his constituents.
On Friday, Feb. 12, Iowa’s 4th Congressional District representative saw how Northwest Iowa Community College is delivering for its students when the Hull Republican toured some of the recently remodeled areas of the campus in Sheldon.
Feenstra is no stranger to NCC as he visited the community college several times as an Iowa state senator.
However, his visit last Friday was the first time Feenstra has seen the remodeled automotive and diesel technology centers along with the new welding technology area and the improved in buildings D and C, which were made possible because of the general obligation bond the public approved in 2018.
The visit also came after Feenstra’s amendment to the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021. His amendment to the act will give students more chances to find employment opportunities by hooking mentorship programs into the national apprenticeship system.
Feenstra’s last stop on his tour of NCC was the expanded welding lab. NCC offers a dual-credit college welding class.
“The high school students will come to our classroom the morning of their junior year and get related technical instruction the class and our students,” said NCC workforce and economic development director Jason Anderson. “Between their junior and senior years of high school, they interview with area manufacturers and get the apprenticeship formalized. They will have their technical on-hand instruction ready to go and they will work with that employer during the summer.”
Maintainer and Rosenboom in Sheldon are two of the business that have spent time with the students.
Anderson added NCC is looking at some health-care options as well for the various health programs the college offers.
“The younger you can start with dual enrollment and all of this stuff is a good deal,” Feenstra said. “We just did a federal apprenticeship bill in the House and I added an amendment to work with high school kids at a young age just like you are doing to make sure there are dollars there.”
NCC president Alethea Stubbe said Feenstra’s amendment would be another “huge” boost for the college.
“He gets what we are doing here,” Stubbe said.
Feenstra started his tour in the automotive department in Building D, which was remodeled a little over a year ago.
Then Feenstra looked over the improvements to the light duty diesel garage, which were made in the last year, and as he made his way to Building C, he was shown the planned renovations to Building H, which houses NCC’s health department.
“I’m always impressed by the growth and development when I visit Northwest Iowa Community College. They have an outstanding administration and they are always focused on how they can help their students succeed,” Feenstra said. “It’s great to see their forward thinking when it comes to technology and jobs that are needed in today’s economy. They noted how vitally important skills training is for out state and that will help our economy grow in the coming years and decades.”
Stubbe said she thought it was important to show Feenstra the advancements that NCC has made over the past few years.
“We have the number one electrical programs in the nation and health care that is top-notch in the state. He saw manufacturing, electrical, automotive, diesel, all of those programs that the workers go out and make great wages right out of the program and changes lives,” Stubbe said. “That’s what we are all about, changing lives.”
NCC dean of applied technology Steve Waldstein said Feenstra saw how the school is being a steward of the dollars it receives from the general obligation bond.
“We are putting them into the areas we said we would when we went out and campaigned for the general obligation bond,” Waldstein said. “You can see how quickly we have put those into use with our new labs, new facilities and new partnerships. I think he was very impressed and he could see that we have increased our enrollments and we have increased the technology our students are getting.”