Southeastern Community College, Iowa Fertilizer Company Sign Preliminary Training Agreement

SCC Press Release:

Southeastern Community College and Iowa Fertilizer Company LLC have entered into a Preliminary Industrial New Jobs Training agreement for the purpose of establishing a new jobs training program to educate and train certain persons employed at the company’s new plant in Wever, Iowa.  On October 28, 2013 the two parties reaffirmed the agreement to continue to work to establish a new jobs training program.

The plant will be the first world-scale natural gas-based fertilizer plant built in the United States in nearly 25 years. Iowa Fertilizer Company estimates it will employ approximately 165 workers once the facility is fully operational. As a part of its “Buy Iowa” pledge, the company has committed to hiring area workers for positions, and purchasing products and services from within the state of Iowa for the $1.8 billion project.

“We are excited for this partnership with Southeastern Community College that will provide us with skilled and knowledgeable workers,” said Iowa Fertilizer Company President, Shawn Rana. “Iowa Fertilizer is committed to using local workers as much as possible, and this program will allow us to do so.”

SCC President Dr. Michael Ash says that the college will do double duty to prepare workers for the plant.

“We’ll help train Iowa Fertilizer Company’s new employees once they’re hired. At the same time, we’ll also prepare current and future students so they’re qualified for open positions once they graduate,” Dr. Ash explained.

Ash continued that students in SCC’s current programs could ultimately find themselves working at the new facility. “While the majority of the openings will require industrial operations skills, the new plant is going to need people with all sorts of skill sets. From accounting to industrial maintenance to I/T – as opportunities become available, our grads will be ready to step into those roles.”

The Iowa New Jobs Training Program (260E) supports businesses adding employees through expansion or relocation to Iowa. The flexible funding of the 260E program will allow SCC to work with the Iowa Fertilizer Company to provide a training program for a productive workforce.

SCC’s Center for Business will work with Iowa Fertilizer Company to develop a training plan to provide training resources for the majority of the company’s new employees. Once hired, employees will undergo specialized training to enter positions in operations, maintenance, and logistics. Initial types of training will include safety and OSHA training, and other specialized operations training.

The new Iowa Fertilizer Company facility is a $1.8 billion project that will create more than 2,500 construction jobs and employ more than 165 permanent employees when construction is complete in late 2015. The plant will produce 1.5 to 2 million tons of fertilizer annually. Iowa Fertilizer will provide farmers across the Midwest with a reliable nitrogen source and save farmers across the country millions of dollars annually.

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Guest Contributor Mike Norris, Executive Director of the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission

In our ongoing effort of promoting job growth and economic development in Southeast Iowa, Restoring Iowa Jobs wants to give guest contributors a platform to talk about their organization or business on our blog.

This week’s guest contributor is Mike Norris, Executive Director of the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission!


The Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission (SEIRPC) has served southeast Iowa (Des Moines, Henry, Lee, Louisa counties) for 40 years. SEIRPC is a public non-profit entity incorporated by local governments to provide services governments and businesses need in an efficient manner.

SEIRPC is engaged primarily in planning, housing development, business finance, grant writing, grant administration, public transportation services and program management.

Often working in the background, SEIRPC supports local governments and businesses by bringing staff and financial resources to the region.  Over 40 years, SEIRPC has brought in over $220 million to southeast Iowa from outside funding sources. Since 2003, $123 million has been secured. These resources have enabled the region to leverage local funds to accomplish many infrastructure, planning, finance and other projects that would have been more difficult or impossible to accomplish without outside assistance.

In 2012, SEIRPC organized a group of public and private officials to steer the development and approval of a comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) for southeast Iowa. The strategy encompasses transportation, economic development and community development.

The plan serves as a guide for SEIRPC as well.  In FY2013 SEIRPC brought $12 million to southeast Iowa in outside funds to accomplish big projects in the region, like: Build and repair single family and multifamily housing, repair roads, construct a new road for the Iowa Fertilizer Company, improve wastewater treatment systems for cities, complete disaster mitigation plans and improve parks and trails.

In more detail, FY 2013 produced results for the region, totaling: Over $500,000 in loans to local businesses in conjunction with local banks, creating and retaining jobs through startups and expansions; housing assistance programs impacting 130 individual housing units, providing over 130,000 rides to residents going to work, medical or other appointments through SEIBUS, SEIRPC’s public transit department.

Collaboration is central to SEIRPC’s mission. Its 19-member board comes from four counties, eight different cities and various businesses. SEIRPC’s committees total no less than 60 individuals.  Regional organizations like the Great River Regional Partnership and Southeast Iowa Port Authority are supported by SEIRPC in addition to its 30+ member governments.

SEIRPC is proud to serve southeast Iowa and will continue to foster and maintain regional partnerships in efforts to strengthen the region.

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