Tuesday voters in ten counties will be asked to renew a levy for Hawkeye Community College. The vote could mean the difference between finding a new job and not finding one for many of the John Deere workers laid off this spring.
Hawkeye Community College says it's seeing a steady enrollment of students who have been laid off and are looking for new training. That training requires the latest technology and equipment, which would be provided by the proposed levy renewal on Tuesday's ballot.
Last Spring Diana Staver and Sam Nyland found themselves out of a job and wondering what to do next. "Oh its a pit in your stomach, you don't know what you want to do. I didn't know where I wanted to go or what exactly I wanted to do," said Diana Staver, former John Deere employee. "Not at all. I had no idea. I went home and talked to my family about it," said Sam Nyland, also a former John Deere employee.
Now they are taking courses at Hawkeye Community College to learn new skills. For students, like Sam and Diana, its having this hands on education with the latest technology that they hope will get them back in the workforce.
"Some of the equipment is older, some of it is newer. I mean if we could get newer equipment it would be great," said Staver.
Hawkeye says the continued progress of industries requires them to constantly be updating classroom equipment both in their advanced manufacturing degrees and others like their nursing program. "And so in order for us to stay up to date, we use these levy funds to make sure our equipment replicates whats in the work force, so students have that opportunity," said Jane Bradley, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Hawkeye.
The levy on the ballot that pays for this isn't new. It's from 2007 and your vote will decide whether to keep it going. It won't raise your taxes any more than they already are.
The levy means home owners pay $3.34 per year for the next ten years. But again, you're already paying that, the vote is to renew it.