Since early in 2021, the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC) has been working to establish an innovative technology center to help local businesses develop and train workforce, bring in new business opportunities and enhance local high school and secondary education courses. The ORBIT Education and Training Facility has officially been approved by the CCDC Board to go to bid for construction.
Released for public notice on November 13th, 2023:
NOTICE TO BIDDERS:
Notice is hereby given that the Clarke County Development Corporation has posted Plans, Specifications, and Form of Contract to the Beeline & Blue Online Plan Room for the proposed Orbit Education & Training Facility project to be constructed in Osceola, Iowa. Prime Contract bids are due 2:00 PM December 5th, 2023, at the Clarke County Development Corporation office located at 115 E Washington Street, Osceola, IA 50213.
“Plans for the Tech Center have evolved over the past 24 months of development,” says Bill Trickey, CCDC Executive Director. “With the input from local businesses and manufacturers as well as understanding how we can partner with our local schools and community colleges; this facility will be a gem for south-central Iowa.”
Discussions for the tech center have been ongoing amongst the Development Corporation and local businesses for years. With local workforce demand growing and the need for high tech as well as skilled labor on the rise nationally, the CCDC’s drive to offer a dedicated facility to bring in these educational opportunities to Clarke County has increased with each new conversation.
Developments in the tech center program leading up to the final design include a facilitation and management agreement with SWCC. With educational programming normally made available at SWCC’s Creston, IA campus, along with new curriculum to meet the demand of businesses throughout the county, the ability to educate and facilitate workforce and growth locally will be enhanced.
“This program fills an opportunity gap our area has experienced for a long time,” said Trickey. “Students coming out of high school trade classes often require additional manufacturing experience and local employees need continuing education to keep up with technology. This is where the ORBIT Tech Center will make its mark.”
Courses that address skills development outside manufacturing have also been slated for the facility. Eventually the CCDC team looks to have day and evening courses in topics ranging from computer technology including programming and A.I., to culinary arts and brew master or distilling classes, as well as business management, communications, and hospitality training available to the community.
Once sufficient bids have been received, a decision will be made on the contractor or contractors for construction of the facility. That process is expected to take a few months. By late Spring of 2024, Trickey hopes to have ground broken and the building completed, ready for students by December of 2024.