Colleges Give Manufacturing Initiative Update

The front of Linn Hall, the flagship building at Kirkwood Community College, on Tuesday, August 25, 2009. (Crystal LoGiudice/The Gazette).

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By Rachel Begle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's community colleges are providing their progress in offering advanced manufacturing education throughout the state.

The Iowa-Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, made up of Iowa's 15 community colleges, says more than 800 individuals have participated so far in programs funded through a $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

More than 120 individuals have completed a program with a diploma, degree or certificate. More than 650 individuals continue to work toward a credential.

The consortium, which was formed last year, is trying to build training opportunities that offer industry-recognized credentials in fields like welding, machining, industrial maintenance, industrial automation and manufacturing technology.

The group says it hopes to surpass a grant goal of nearly 2,800 program participants over the course of the project.

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