Learning Resources Network honors Northeast Iowa Community College for contract training

Thursday, April 4, 2019

NICC DISTRICT—The Learning Resources Network (LERN) has honored Northeast Iowa Community College and its business and community solutions division for excellence in contract training. NICC received the LERN Contract Training Marketing Award at the organization’s national contract training conference in Chicago, Ill., March 19-22.

Contract training is workforce training programs that are created in partnership with businesses. The training is customized and tailored specifically for the business employees.  

“This honor from LERN recognizes the strategic marketing and customer service work we do to serve northeast Iowa businesses and their needs. We deliver customized contract training for companies in nearly every industry, and we also focus on career development, employee and workplace safety, and leadership,” explained Wendy Mihm-Herold, Ph.D., NICC vice president of business and community solutions. “Our college faculty, as well as local, regional and national experts in their fields, deliver proven, results-driven training programs for companies. Our team trains new employees, and works with companies seeking to retain and upskill their current employees.”

With an unemployment rate of 2.9 percent in the state of Iowa, businesses in the College’s district are directly impacted by the shortage of skilled workers. Consequently, many are having difficulty filling open positions, especially in the areas of advanced manufacturing, construction, healthcare and information technology. The Colleges’ business and community solutions division develops contract training programs to help local companies expand and grow, according to Mihm-Herold.

In FY18 alone, business and community solutions contract training served 22,003 students – a 2,000 increase over the previous year – and served 485 individual businesses in northeast Iowa. East Penn Manufacturing Distribution Center, a company that expanded its workforce in Oelwein, benefited directly from its training and collaboration with Northeast Iowa Community College.

“NICC has been instrumental in providing ongoing training support and personnel for consultation and guidance. We have also come to rely on the resourcefulness of the College’s team when seeking training solutions such as maintenance training at the Regional Tech Complex in Oelwein, and a professional facilitator to develop and lead our supervisor training,” Bob Bouka, general manager of East Penn Manufacturing Distribution Center, stated.

Amy Green, director of program sales, contract training, and outreach services for NICC business and community solutions, knows many companies view the College as an invaluable training resource. She also sees more room for growth in new training partnerships with NICC.

"We have established our College as a leader in training, and we are continuing to raise awareness of our services throughout the region. We want businesses to think of Northeast Iowa Community College first when they need to recruit, retain and upskill their workforce," Green said.

This is the third LERN honor awarded to Northeast Iowa Community College in recent years. The workforce training division of Northeast Iowa Community College received the Best Contract Training Sales Team Award in 2018 and the International Award for Excellence in Management Practice in 2015.

Northeast Iowa Community College is a strategic workforce partner in northeast Iowa and the region’s leader in workforce education. NICC provides businesses with affordable, quality education to advance employees’ skills in the areas of career development, computer technology, licensure and recertification, healthcare and trades and industry. For more information on training solutions designed to meet business needs, visit www.nicc.edu/workforceeducation.

About LERN: Learning Resources Network (LERN) is the world’s largest association in continuing education and lifelong learning offering training and information and consulting services to providers of education and training. LERN, founded in 1974, provides practical, how-to “Information that Works” to about 6,000 members worldwide. LERN serves a range of institutions including state universities, four-year colleges, colleges within universities, private colleges, community colleges, technical colleges, public schools, recreation departments, and associations.