Dear Editor,

I am proud to serve Wapello County on the Indian Hills Community College Board of Trustees. I have the privilege of seeing the positive impact that Indian Hills has on the lives of southern Iowans — it is truly life-changing.

Indian Hills trains the healthcare, education, advanced manufacturing, information technology and transportation workers to meet the needs of business and industry in Mahaska County and throughout southern Iowa. Graduates of Indian Hills stay and work in our region. In fact, 86% of all Indian Hills graduates live within the 10-county region contributing back to the local economy.

Annually, Indian Hills educates 10,000 credit and non-credit students, including more than 2,000 concurrently enrolled high school students. During the 2019-20 academic year, Indian Hills provided 29,552 concurrent enrollment credits to 2,176 students in the 10-county region. That saved students and families of southern Iowa more than $5.3 million in Indian Hills tuition, or the equivalent of $9.4 million in Iowa Regent University tuition.

Indian Hills also serves as a catalyst to promote new job creation in southern Iowa. The college works collaboratively with business and industry partners in Wapello County to meet customized training needs. In fact, Indian Hills has assisted 33 Wapello County businesses in training and retraining more than 1509 employees over the past 5 years. Experts estimate that for every $1 invested into Indian Hills, local taxpayers receive a $2.20 return on their investment.

The last Indian Hills bond referendum was passed in 1983 to purchase the Ottumwa Main Campus from the Sisters of Humility. It is once again time for the people of our 10-county area to invest in the future of Indian Hills and of our region.

Please join me in casting a “yes” vote for the Indian Hills bond levy on Nov. 2, 2021, or by absentee ballot prior to Election Day. The bond levy is a nominal contribution when you consider the great benefit our community college provides for our region. These projects will ensure that Indian Hills can continue to offer low-cost, high-quality postsecondary education opportunities to thousands of Southern Iowa residents now and into the future.

Respectfully,

Lori L Yates, Ottumwa, Indian Hills Community College Trustee.

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