Southwestern Community College (SWCC), with the support of several Osceola, Iowa businesses and the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC) is offering a free applied mathematics course for adults looking to advance their careers. Kim Oaks, Director of Business and Industry Workforce Preparation in the Continuing Education Department at SWCC, along with Bill Trickey, Executive Director at the CCDC, met with local businesses and human resource departments to discuss the challenges faced in acquiring and maintaining a strong workforce. It was found many of the challenges centered around rudimentary mathematics and soft skills needed to perform at the levels expected for employment.

Through review of the local businesses’ expressed needs as well as input from Iowa Works, the Iowa Workforce Development’s career-planning and education arm, Trickey and the team from SWCC were able to develop a base curriculum centered around mathematics skills and soft skills needed most for gaining employment and launching a career in these industries.osceola businesses applied math course swcc

Some of the skills the program will cover include:

  • Reading and application of math-based tools like a tape measure
  • Basic math using fractions, decimals, percentages
  • Solving real, work-world math problems
  • Hands-on experiences with these concepts
  • Work and work-life readiness skills


“With the development of programs like Clarke Schools’ Industrial Technology Advisory Board, these skills are being addressed at the high-school levels,” said Trickey. “The program at SWCC will ensure we have adults ready for the workforce once they complete the program.”

Local manufacturers Altec, Plum Building Systems, and Salford, Inc. will be present at the opening class to discuss the program and how it applies to their company specifically. Each company has made a commitment to the program stating those that complete the course successfully will be invited to take tours of their plants and facilities as well as granted interview opportunities for suitable available positions.

“The program is geared to prepare applicants for real-work experiences,” said SWCC’s Kim Oaks.

From the pre-test to mandatory 100% attendance to the post-test, successful candidates will be given a certificate for the course they complete.

Registration for the Applied Mathematics course is now open and applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The classes will be held at SWCC’s Osceola, Iowa Center, Mondays and Thursdays from November 6th through December 7th from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. For more information, please click on the link to the right to download a flyer.

For more information, or to apply for the course, contact the Southwestern Community College Adult and Continuing Education Department at 641-782-1441 or 1-800-247-4023 ext. 441. You can also contact the SWCC Osceola Iowa Center at 641-342-3531 for details and registration information.

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