260E state-training program supports expansion for northeast Iowa companies.
Monday, July 29, 2019
Northeast Iowa Community College currently has 85 open 260E training projects with companies to create 4,733 new jobs. Of these open projects, 60 percent of the businesses served are small businesses, 38 percent are medium-sized and 2 percent are defined as large businesses.
FREDERICKSBURG, Iowa—Employers in northeast Iowa that develop the skills of new employees can greatly impact their companies’ productivity, employee recruitment and retention, and profitability.
This holds especially true for training programs that are cost-effective, customized for each company and delivered by local experts. These are the benefits of the 260E Iowa New Jobs Training Program, legislation created in 1985 that establishes agreements between the state of Iowa, employers and community colleges.
AVEKA Manufacturing, Inc. in Fredericksburg participates in the 260E agreements administered by Northeast Iowa Community College, and the cost-effective training creates growth opportunities for the company, according to Shain Kroenecke, AVEKA Manufacturing general manager.
“One of the biggest benefits to working with Northeast Iowa Community College and the 260E program is that this additional training for employees would normally not be provided because of budget constraints. The training allows for more well-rounded knowledgeable employees on AVEKA’s workforce. AVEKA Manufacturing has or plans to train on project management, supervisor, safety, computer and quality training. This training will help to foster a stronger more skilled workforce and enhance production processes, customer relations and provide more tools for management and supervisors,” Kroenecke explained.
The cost of 260E training projects for companies is financed through bonds sold by the College. Depending on wages paid, the partnering business then diverts 1.5 or 3 percent of the Iowa state withholding taxes generated by the new positions to NICC to retire the bonds. Training is available at essentially no cost, since bonds are retired with dollars that otherwise would have been paid to the state as withholding taxes. These agreements facilitate growth and expansion for companies.
“Our work with local companies on their 260E job training projects, such as AVEKA Manufacturing’s, help make possible business expansion, growth and higher productivity for their own workforce. Employers are also learning to do more with fewer people, due in large part to a tight job market and low unemployment in northeast Iowa. The keys are the 260E’s affordability and Northeast Iowa Community College’s customized approach – these are not one-size-fits-all training solutions,” said Wendy Mihm-Herold, Ph.D., NICC vice president of business and community solutions.
The training NICC provides for participating employers matches their needs and avoids the loss of time and resources that might be devoted to on-the-job training for new hires, Kroenecke added. “Formal training through the College has provided AVEKA a well-rounded training program, offering new insights and ideas on our current procedures and structure at our company,” he said.
Kroenecke and the company’s management team plan to revisit training options through the College in the future, as AVEKA implements more automation and electronic controls in its production processes. Employees would benefit from computer and technical skills training, Kroenecke explained.
Northeast Iowa Community College currently has 85 open 260E training projects with companies to create 4,733 new jobs. Of these open projects, 60 percent of the businesses served are small businesses (up to 100 employees), 38 percent are medium-sized (100-500 employees) and 2 percent are defined as large businesses (500+ employees).
Locally in Chickasaw County, the College has worked with companies on 34 projects that led to the creation of 1,575 new jobs since the 260E Iowa Jobs Training Program legislation was introduced in 1985. Since 1985 in its nine-county district area, NICC has coordinated 317 260E projects that helped generate 16,493 new jobs.
For more information on customized and contracted training services available for businesses through Northeast Iowa Community College, visit www.nicc.edu/workforceeducation.
ABOUT AVEKA MANUFACTURING: AVEKA is a full-service toll processing and research and development company that focuses on particle technology. From lab-scale to production and over 30 unit operations, the company provides one-step or multi-step manufacturing needs for its clients. The company's Fredericksburg location was founded in 1996, and AVEKA is celebrating its 25-year anniversary in 2019. For more information, visit www.aveka.com.
ABOUT THE IOWA NEW JOBS TRAINING (260E) PROGRAM: The 260E provides businesses expanding Iowa’s workforce with new employee training and is designed to increase worker productivity and company profitability. The 260E is administered by Iowa's 15 community colleges and financed through bonds sold by the colleges. Depending on wages paid, the business then diverts 1.5 or 3 percent of the Iowa state withholding taxes generated by the new positions to the community college to retire the bonds. Training is available at essentially no cost, since bonds are retired with dollars that otherwise would have been paid to the state as withholding taxes.