Manchester board, NICC plan ahead for skilled workforce

The Manchester Business and Community Board assembled by Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) is taking a collaborative approach to building a skilled workforce as business opportunities expand.

The idea behind the Manchester group and similar boards NICC is working to create is to foster cooperation among business, education and economic development officials to build workforce opportunities in the future, according to a college news release.

“The networking is instrumental in offering insight into the experiences of other businesses,” Joan Funke, human resources director of Regional Medical Center in Manchester and a member of the Delaware County Business and Community Board, said in the release. “Lessons learned, innovative ideas and knowledge are all shared between businesses and community leaders with the goal to take us all to the next level of operation through an exceptional workforce.”

In addition, the Northeast Iowa Career Learning Link that NICC provides has helped the board give students insights into the evolving local workforce, Funke said.

Wendy Mihm-Herold, the college’s vice president of business and community solutions, said teamwork and dialogue is key to addressing the needs of business and industry in Delaware County and elsewhere.

“The Business and Community Board offers opportunities for its members to develop a more comprehensive picture of the skilled workforce needs of the community,” Mihm-Herold said in the release. “The dialogue and opportunities for members to discuss the local economy will develop a community-wide plan for our future.”

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