Recently we had the chance to talk to an employment agency official and learned some very startling things about the area’s job climate.

The jobs are out there — in fact they are plentiful.

It’s difficult to find the people with skills to do the jobs.

But the people who do have the skills are snapped up by employers hungering for people who can do hands-on, technical work.

That’s why we are thrilled to see the recent passage of a $33 million bond referendum that will provide funding for the Eastern Iowa Community College District, which includes our very own Clinton Community College.

Funding will be used toward updating facilities at all three colleges, for work force development and an increased emphasis on science and math education. The funding also will provide for new or updated satellite centers.

The bottom line will be improved technology labs as well as upgrades to the applied technology and manufacturing technology areas. The improvements are being made to keep pace with the demands of area businesses for increased work force training.

These are important skills to be learned, not only for those who are just out of high school and continuing their education but for those who needed to get more training due to changing needs in the work force, or for those who are unemployed or are looking to do something different with their lives.

As we stated in an editorial prior to the Sept. 11 vote, “we wholeheartedly endorse passage of this referendum, with our endorsement based on the knowledge of how much our community college means to the residents who are working toward a degree and the businesses that benefit from a strengthened work force.

“It is our hope that residents will give their stamp of approval to this referendum so that our college can keep up with the demands of being able to offer what our local students need and local employers want.”

Here’s a big thank you to the voters who supported this referendum. It will make a difference to students when they decide where to go to school and will ultimately help local employers as they work to fill positions that will grow Clinton’s economy.

This Week's Circulars