There was good news for the University of Northern Iowa in the budget proposal unveiled Tuesday by Gov. Kim Reynolds.
The governor fully funded UNI's request for a major renovation and expansion of the Industrial Technology Center, a project that would expand the university's capacity to educate and provide qualified applicants to industries struggling to meet Iowa's employment needs in high-demand fields such as manufacturing, technology and construction. UNI requested the state fund $39.7 million of the $43.9 million project, with a three-year investment including $1 million funded in the first year, $15.9 million in the second, and $22.8 million in the third.
Governor Reynolds' budget proposal is the first step in creating the state's budget. With the budget now moving to the legislature, UNI will continue to advocate for its requested funds, emphasizing the importance to providing affordable, high-quality education and training for the next generation of Iowa workers who will continue to build a vibrant economy in the state.
“We look forward to working with Gov. Reynolds and members of the Iowa Legislature during this year's session to continue our commitment to ensuring a reasonable, predictable cost of education for Iowa families, while also providing the high-quality education our students need to be successful professionals and leaders in Iowa's changing economy,” said UNI President Mark Nook.
The Industrial Technology Center at UNI is home to the Department of Technology, and was built in 1974 to educate shop teachers. Today, the facility lacks the space needed for training classrooms and laboratories in which students can work collaboratively on real-world projects with industry-standard equipment.
It is important to improve the facility in order to keep up with Iowa's workforce needs and the increasingly sophisticated demands of industry. 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.
For more information on the proposed Industrial Technology Center modernization project, click here.