Philanthropic gifts from manufacturing, construction leaders put project two-thirds of the way toward fundraising goal

Two of the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Department of Technology’s longstanding
industry partners announced lead gifts to the Industrial Technology Center (ITC) modernization
in 2021.

John Deere Waterloo, one of the largest recruiters of UNI technology department graduates,
committed $750,000 to the private fundraising campaign. The gift represents John Deere's
single largest investment in UNI across 50 years as a key partner for the university.
And Master Builders of Iowa, a leading professional organization for Iowa’s construction
industry, announced a $250,000 gift to support the effort. For more than 40 years, MBI and its
members have provided scholarships, program advisory and advocacy for UNI’s construction
management program.

In addition to the financial support, MBI — which represents more than 2,000 members — was
a significant lobbying voice in helping to successfully move UNI’s request through the legislative
process.

“On behalf of the MBI Board of Directors and the MBI-WORKS Endowment Board of Directors,
we are excited to support this critically important initiative at UNI,” said MBI President and CEO
Chad Kleppe. “We’re proud of our decades-long partnership with the students and faculty of
UNI’s Construction Management program and welcome the opportunity to help launch this
campaign. Furthermore, we are pleased to be afforded the opportunity to help build upon the
successes of the construction management program for the future of our workforce.”

John Deere Waterloo leadership said their gift is an investment in tomorrow’s workforce.

“John Deere is excited to partner with the University of Northern Iowa on the renovation and
expansion of the ITC. This modernization project aligns to the need for innovation and more
advanced manufacturing technologies in our industry, which will also enable the future
workforce. UNI is the only public university in Iowa with these specific technology degrees,
which is an important pipeline of talent for the Cedar Valley,” said Becky Guinn, factory
manager of Waterloo Works. “The Department of Technology specifically serves an important
role in the state, as a large percentage of graduates continue employment in Iowa. John
Deere’s Smart Industrial strategy is committed to cutting edge technology which is just one of
the reasons for this investment and our continued collaboration with UNI.”