MUSCATINE — Muscatine Community College is hosting a reception to celebrate a collaboration with Muscatine Center for Social Action. In the fall, six students who struggled with financial stability began an intensive professional development and technical skill training course.
Naomi DeWinter, president of the college, said that to commemorate the work of the students involved, they are releasing a documentary about the experience.
“It was such an inspiring series of events seeing the students succeed," DeWinter said. "We thought that we needed to document everything that it took to get to this point. We interviewed the students and instructors, the businesses that ended up hiring those students."
On Friday, they will be premiering that documentary. DeWinter said she was excited to see how the whole project came together.
"The most important thing for us was that at the end of the journey, after all the sweat and tears that everybody put into this that they would have jobs," DeWinter said. "Had we not been successful in that, there would be nothing to document. You begin with the end in mind.”
From the beginning, the college was bringing in business partners to learn what kinds of skills they needed, what kinds of values could be added to their work force.
“They’ve had a lot of barriers and challenges in their lives," DeWinter said. "But when the employers said, ‘We’ll work with who you are today,’ that was really critical."
As the partnering groups work to think about how the program can offer more skills to more people, DeWinter said their is the chance for expansion into other fields.
"We also know there is a similar need for chefs and people in the hospitality industry," DeWinter said. "The other is construction. How can we facilitate that? I think it is all about identifying the top needs and who needs to be at the table."