The construction of the new Job Corps center in Ottumwa, Iowa, has had a tremendous economic impact on the local community. The $24 million project is creating jobs for residents in two capacities – through the 135 jobs for the construction of the facility, and the 130 permanent staff positions needed to operate the center when it opens next year. With the Ottumwa unemployment rate currently at eight percent, this project is vital to the growth of the city's economy.
“Because of the construction of the Ottumwa Job Corps Center, we've been able to keep people employed who otherwise would have been laid off,” said Grant Grooms of Grooms & Co. Construction. “We were even able to hire additional workers for the project.”
The impact of the new center on the local economy is substantial, but just as important are the green design elements of the building, which are expected to yield up to $250,000 in utility rebates. The LEED-based design has eight buildings, including student dormitories, academic buildings, administration buildings, a student recreation center/gymnasium, and much more.
Green aspects of the buildings include geothermal heating, energy-efficient lighting in all buildings, roof and wall insulation systems, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. In addition, construction staff are recycling materials on-site and using an online submittal exchange program, which tracks the progression of the project through a paperless system.
Once completed, the center will house approximately 300 students and offer career training in advanced manufacturing, information technology, heavy equipment operations, and health care. Students will study green practices and train on the latest green technology and equipment. Ottumwa students who meet certain criteria will also have the opportunity to participate in a partnership with nearby Indian Hills Community College to advance their education and training in certain areas.