NIACC receives $1 million grant for Charles City regional center

MASON CITY — Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education announced today that North Iowa Area Community College is among four community colleges that are being awarded $1 million competitive grants through the Career Academy Incentive Fund to prepare more high school students for success in college, post-secondary training and the workforce.

NIACC, along with Des Moines Area Community College, Iowa Lakes Community College and Iowa Western Community College are each receiving the grant to increase access to career academy programs in high-demand fields through new regional centers. Students in partnering school districts will benefit from industry partnerships, earn high school and college credit, and gain technical and traditional academic skills offered through career and technical education programs.

NIACC will use their grant to establish a new regional center in Charles City to serve students from seven school districts in north central Iowa. This is the second Career Academy Incentive Fund award for NIACC. The college was awarded the state’s first grant in 2020, which was used to establish the new John V. Hanson Career Center in Forest City.

The Career Academy Incentive Fund was established by a 2019 law that extends a statewide penny sales tax for school infrastructure, called Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE), through January 2051. At least $1 million will be awarded annually to support career academy partnerships among community colleges, school districts, business and industry, Regional Planning Partnerships, Area Education Agencies and others to increase student access to college programs, state-of-the-art equipment and career paths in Iowa’s in-demand fields.