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Kirkwood Transforms Building to Training Center

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Kirkwood community college is expanding its training facilities, transforming a 100,000 square foot building into an industrial training and education site.

It's out with the old and in with the new.

The facility that once housed midland forge is now known as the Kirkwood Continuing Education and Training Center.

"The facility was a nice space for us. We had our transportation range and then we had all our safety programs in two different locations on Kirkwood's Campus and we were looking to consolidate...put all our safety programs in one roof, said Amy Lasack, Senior Director of Corporate Training.

Those programs include learning how to drive a forklift.

There's also a room, based on real life scenarios where students learn how to rescue those in danger.

The idea is to build a stronger workforce in positions where there's an applicant shortage like the trucking industry.

"We do everything from all of the classroom components to all of the road components to pre-trip but it's a four week program, said Greg Stewart, Director of Transportation.

The building allows trainers to house semis' used for one-on-one lessons in doors.

"We'll have an instructor where I'm at and a the other trucks we do have a seat back here so a student can observe also, he said.

It's why Amy Lasack says the center is now a resource for area businesses.

It's our hope that we can help individuals that are looking for new careers get trained."

The public can take a closer look at the site.

Kirkwood is hosting an open house tour of the building a week from today at 4pm.
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