Community colleges: Helping workers, economy rebound


Community colleges are well positioned to help Iowans and our economy bounce back from the pandemic.

Since 1964, Iowa’s community colleges have provided education, training and services to students, businesses and communities throughout the state. As times change, so do our community colleges — always adapting to meet local needs.

This year, the Legislature boosted support that will help our community colleges continue doing just that.

As businesses and industries look to fully re-open, they’re struggling to find the workers they need to fill well-paying jobs. Iowans may be eager to apply, but often lack the specific skills required. That’s where community colleges come in.

Now is a great time for Iowans looking for a better career to contact Kirkwood Community College and Eastern Iowa Community College about current education, training and financial aid opportunities.


Last Dollar Scholarship

In particular, many Iowans may benefit from a big increase to the state-funded Future Ready Last Dollar Scholarship, which covers a qualifying student’s tuition and fees not met by other federal and state grants and scholarships.

To be eligible for this scholarship, recent high school graduates and adult learners must:

• Be Iowa residents

• Enroll in an eligible program of study

• Have applied for all other available financial aid

• Plan to earn a credential for a high-demand job

KCC and EICC offer a variety of eligible programs, including welding, carpentry, HVAC, diesel, electronics, computer and information technology, business, health care careers and more. Depending on the area of study, students can earn a credential in anywhere from 16 weeks to two years.


Community college resources

Learn about all career training programs eligible for the Last Dollar Scholarship at

There’s still time to apply for financial aid for the 2021-2022 school year. Go to, and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by Aug. 1.

See what community college leaders had to say on a recent episode of Iowa PBS’ Iowa Press about how they’re helping Iowa students, businesses and our economy right now:

Contact information:

State Senator Zach Wahls represents Iowa Senate District 37, which includes Cedar County, portions of Johnson County, and Wilton in Muscatine County. Contact him at 515-281-3901 or