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Newscast 09.14.23: SC Community Schools christen new construction trades building; Wartburg College cuts tuition by nearly 50%; Former pipeline safety administrator says Summit can go forward ahead of rules changes

Construction Trades Building announcement
Sioux City Community Schools
Construction Trades Building announcement

Iowa faces a worker shortage and a new hands-on learning facility in Sioux City could help fill high-demand jobs.

The Sioux City Community School District’s Career Academy celebrated a new construction trades building on Wednesday for students, including 17-year-old Nathaniel Hamann, (hay-men) who attends East High.

“I'm hoping to learn electrical and plumbing and how you like all the foundation work and just a little bit of everything that goes into building a house. And I can just apply that to everything else in my life. And that would be good information to know.”

Here students study skills valued by potential employers, like Skip Perley, the CEO of Thomson Solutions Group and Board President of the Sioux City Public Schools Foundation.

“There’s no lack of opportunity. We need workers, and we need them at a faster pace than we've ever had before.”

Perley says he started his career as an electrician right out of high school, and students who attend the program will go directly into the workforce or an apprenticeship program.

A former federal administrator for pipeline safety says Summit Carbon Solutions should not be delayed while regulators develop new rules for projects like it. Brigham McCown, testifying on behalf of Summit, told the Iowa Utilities Board he expects regulators to make changes that could take effect even after the pipeline is built.

The proposed Summit CO2 pipeline footprint
The proposed Summit CO2 pipeline footprint

Opponents have called for a moratorium on carbon pipeline projects until the new rules are announced.

The IUB is wrapping up the fourth week of testimony over the proposed route of the Summit pipeline. The hearing has continued even as regulators in North and South Dakota have denied Summit’s initial applications for the project.

Weather conditions have prompted the U.S.D.A. to lower its prediction of corn yields in Iowa by one-and-a-half percent.

The estimate released today is based on crop conditions through September 1st. The U.S.D.A. predicts the average corn yield in Iowa will be 200 bushels per acre, down slightly from last month. However, at least 200,000 more acres of corn were planted in Iowa this year compared to last year, so Iowa’s overall corn harvest will be 2%t larger than last year’s.
The U.S.D.A.’s analysis of Iowa soybean yields per acre is the same as it was in August.

Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa announced this week it will reduce its published tuition price by more than 45% to $25,000. That will bring the overall cost closer to what students and their families typically pay. General fees also will be lowered.

Wartburg College
Wartburg College
Wartburg College

The change is part of the Wartburg Commitment. It is a comprehensive program that includes a new competitive price, reduced financial barriers for lower- and middle-income families and funding for all students to increase access to immersive experiences.