The Keokuk Re-Engagement Center could be up and running within a few weeks. It will be located on Southeastern Community College’s local campus.
The goal of the center is to combine education and job training.
The Region 16 Workforce Investment Board has been directly involved in the development of the center.
Chairperson Janet Fife-LaFrenz says it will allow individuals who are seeking a GED to also gain certification in one of 15 specialized fields. They include carpentry and auto repair.
“We have jobs out there,” says Fife-LaFrenz, “and we need individuals who are trained to fit those jobs. You get someone back into the workforce. It is just a ‘win-win’ for everyone involved.”
Fife-LaFrenz says local businesses and industries will also be involved to show where job openings are and what is needed to fill them.
She says a computer lab must still be installed before the center can open for business.
Fife-LaFrenz says a list of individuals working on their G-E-D’s in Keokuk is being reviewed to determine possible participants. She says while the target participant is age 16-24, there could be a desire for an older adult to get involved after losing a job.
Keokuk’s center is being seen as a pilot program, so if all goes according to plan, additional centers could be developed throughout the region.