OTTUMWA — Indian Hills Community College and the Ottumwa Community School District will partner in Construction Technology Academy beginning with the fall term.

The academy is open to students in both the Ottumwa school district as well as other area high schools.

The Ottumwa school board of directors unanimously approved the partnership at its March 29 meeting. The program will be coordinated by Indian Hills Construction Technology Program Director Jon Dorman, and will employ a full-time faculty member to teach the program in Ottumwa. The search for that faculty member is underway, and any interested applicants are encouraged to review the position on the college's jobs board.

"We know the demand for a skilled workforce to build, repair and maintain homes throughout our region is high," IHCC President Matt Thompson said. "We have had a great deal of success with our Construction Technology Program on the Centerville campus. This will be a great opportunity for area high school students and our community."

Students who successfully complete the academy during their junior or senior year in high school will graduate with both a high school diploma and an Indian Hills Construction Technology diploma. Ottumwa-area students who are interested in participating in the academy, and will be a junior or senior during the 2021-22 school year, should contact their guidance counselor to register.

"This is a great partnership not only for students attending Ottumwa High School, but also for the city of Ottumwa," OCSD superintendent Mike McGrory said. "We know the demand for housing in Ottumwa remains a top priority and this partnership between the Ottumwa Community School District and Indian Hills will help address that need."

Both the college and school district are seeking funding opportunities to construct a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, featuring a full basement and two-car attached garage on one of five lots owned by the school district near Liberty Elementary School.

Following the successful completion of each home, the home will be sold and plans for construction on the next home will begin.

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