New PACE Program Offered by NIACC

In an effort to help fill the middle skill gap in North Iowa, North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) is now offering a career pathway program known as Pathways for Academic Career Education and Employment (PACE).

Thanks to funding from the Iowa Legislature, career pathways are a student-centered, demand-driven proactive innovation that community colleges across Iowa have launched to adapt to the changing needs of students and employers in Iowa.

“The goal is to increase the number of individuals attaining certificates, credentials and degrees in high-demand occupations,” said Heather Wright, NIACC Pathway Navigator. “If someone has ever thought about getting their High School Equivalency Diploma, obtaining a certificate or going to college but worried they didn’t have the money, skills or supports to be successful, PACE is a program that can help.”

NIACC’s PACE program seeks to provide a series of connected education and training programs along with student support services that enable individuals to secure a job or advance in a demand industry or occupation. Such occupations include Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing, Transportation & Logistics and Information Technology. Each step within a pathway is designed to prepare the participant for the next level of education and employment.

The PACE program targets those that are unemployed, underemployed, dislocated workers, low skilled or low-income. NIACC’s PACE program is designed to work with those transitioning to or back into college and those seeking education or training as a path to employment or career advancement.

Eligible applicants will work together with the Pathway Navigator to develop an individual plan of education, training and employment.

“As their Pathway Navigator, my job is to provide them with educational, financial, personal and career support throughout their duration with the PACE program. The goal is to eliminate any challenges they may have along the way,” Wright said.

To strengthen the program’s outreach and effectiveness, partnerships are being developed with United Way of North Central Iowa, various employers and community-based organizations. These partnerships will provide for more and more opportunities for people in North Iowa to gain self-sufficiency.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the NIACC PACE program, call Heather Wright at (641) 422-1524 extension 44504. Details about the program can also be found on the NIACC web site at and search for PACE in the search bar.

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