Support is needed to improve the University of Northern Iowa’s Industrial Technology Center in order to keep up with industry’s increasingly sophisticated workforce needs.
A Facility to
EDUCATE IOWANS FOR IOWA
Industry has changed greatly in the 40-plus years since the Industrial Technology Center was constructed. Built to educate shop teachers in 1974, students now need greater space for collaborative, hands-on learning with industry-standard equipment. The building’s infrastructure is also in need of maintenance. With more than $10.1 million in deferred maintenance, the building systems are beyond their useful life and cannot support the department’s technology-heavy equipment.
The proposed three-year modernization project will update and expand the facility, serving the needs of today’s students and ensuring UNI's Department or Technology can prepare Iowa's industry leaders for tomorrow.
Total project cost = $43.9 Million
State request = $39.7 Million
- FY 2021 = $1.0 Million
- FY 2022 = $15.9 Million
FY 2023 = $22.8 Million
University fundraising = $4.2 Million
work in Iowa
of that in Iowa
UNI's Department of Technology intends to increase enrollment by 40 percent, from 500 to 700 students, by 2025 to meet Iowa's workforce needs.
PREPARING IOWA'S WORKFORCE:
UNI’s Department of Technology houses an umbrella of programs that educate students for management, manufacturing, construction, graphics and technology education fields—some of the fastest-growing sectors in Iowa. The department attracts students seeking the technical know-how and management skills required to become industry leaders, and programs address the gap between two-year technical programs and specialized engineering programs.
Iowa industry relies on the graduates of the Department of Technology for its workforce, as the vast majority of graduates work in Iowa. In 2016, 95 percent of graduates found jobs within six months, and 90 percent of those jobs were in-state. Enrollment has also grown more than 20 percent, and through UNI partnerships with community colleges, transfer students are a majority of the new students entering the Department of Technology programs each year.
WITH A MODERNIZED INDUSTRIAL
TECHNOLOGY CENTER, UNI WILL:
- Expand applied student learning, research and collaboration opportunities
- Support the delivery of state-of-the-art curriculum in technology-enhanced labs that meet industry standards
- Strengthen partnerships with industry associations including Master Builders of Iowa, Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa, Associated General Contractors of Iowa, IEEE, Foundry Educational Foundation, and Society of Manufacturing Engineers
- Serve the workforce needs of Iowa’s growing economic sectors and better prepare K-12 educators to teach STEM and career and technical disciplines
- Increase economic development in high-need Iowa industries through the nationally-recognized Metal Casting and Additive Manufacturing Centers
"The construction management interns and full-time employees we hire from UNI are exceptional. As a business we depend upon our partnership with UNI to help supply our workforce, but the students need to learn in a modern, up-to-date environment in order to continue to compete in our industry."
"UNI's Industrial Technology Center is home to coveted programs such as the construction management major that serve Iowa's growing workforce needs. Iowa industry relies heavily on this program for employees – we will see a decline in numbers and quality grads without this important reinvestment."
PETERS CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION
"We have an all-time high need for technology education teachers in Iowa, and UNI students no longer have the state-of-the-art facility needed to prepare them for their careers. The time is now to invest in the future of our students."
DR. GUANG JIN
GLOBAL GROWTH OPERATION,JOHN DEERE
"There's a drive for skilled technicians for the hands-on work, but we need people like the UNI graphics technology graduates to be our leaders. I'm concerned the department’s facility and technology no longer mirror what we use in industry today—very soon we'll see that hampering student learning as well as the ability for our faculty to teach."
PRODUCT PLANNING, JOHN DEERE
"UNI construction management graduates come to us with a very well-rounded education and move into leadership positions quickly in our company. Our current workforce is aging, and Iowa needs this program to fill the predicted employee shortage in our industry. In order to ensure that, UNI needs to provide an educational experience that mirrors current industry standards and technology."
PROJECT ENGINEER, RYAN COMPANIES
2016, CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT
"UNI's manufacturing technology program has always been an important source of employees who are ready for the high-tech needs of Iowa's manufacturing employers. But the facility must be modernized to meet current industry standards and to ensure the program continues to produce the professionals we need."