There was good news for the University of Northern Iowa in the budget adopted by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds. UNI's request for a major renovation and expansion of the Industrial Technology Center was fully funded over the next four years.
Housed within the Industrial Technology Center is UNI’s Department of Technology, which educates students for work in Iowa’s manufacturing, electrical/electronics, print and construction fields – all growing industries within the state. There is a 95% placement rate across the department’s programs and 90% of those graduates are placed in Iowa. Expanded facilities will support an anticipated 40% enrollment increase.
“This 46-year-old building needs to be updated to serve the workforce needs of Iowa industry and better prepare teachers to teach STEM and career and technical education disciplines,” said UNI President Mark A. Nook. “This project will expand the university's capacity to provide qualified applicants to industries struggling to meet Iowa's employment needs in high-demand fields.”
The total $40.5 million state investment is funded at $1 million for the current state fiscal year (FY) 2021, $13 million in FY 2022, $18 million in FY 2023 and $8.5 million in FY 2024. In addition, UNI has committed to raising an additional $4.2 million from private sources to support the project's advanced technology and equipment needs.