NORFOLK, Neb. (KCAU) — Northeast Community College (NECC) will be expanding the South Sioux City campus with a $9.8 million project and increasing program offerings.

The Northeast Community College’s Board of Governors approved the expansion plans Tuesday. The plans include using 11,600 square feet to construct a commercial driver’s license (CDL) truck driving training facility. Additionally, the welding program would be expanded with the construction of a 1,500-square-foot addition built onto the current Industrial Training building.

The college said the expansion will “meet requests from business and industry representatives and address the state’s goal of increasing workforce opportunities.”

The CDL training facility will include the CDL Training Building with two classrooms, a simulator room, instructor offices, drive-thru access, and an outdoor shelter for storing and charging. There will also be a training range for students to practice necessary maneuvers. The Industrial Training building addition will provide room for 20 booths while offering enough area for supervision and safety.

The architectural drawing of the CDL building planned for Northeast Community College's South Sioux City campus.
The architectural drawing of the CDL building planned for Northeast Community College’s South Sioux City campus.

“This project will allow Northeast Community College to meet increased employer requests for workers with the specialized skills of truck driving and welding to fill vacant positions and foster business growth in the region,” NECC President Dr. Leah Barrett said.

Another purpose for the expansion will help meet the goal of a 2022 Nebraska bill that “at least 70% of 25 to 34-year-old Nebraskans have a degree, certificate, diploma, or other postsecondary or industry-recognized credential with economic value by 2030.,” the college stated.

“These facilities and program expansions will provide opportunities not currently available in the Siouxland area, including career pathway programs with on and off ramps and short-term credentials that provide excellent opportunities with life sustaining wages for low skilled individuals,” Barrett said. “These projects support our region’s small businesses and are aimed at many of the industry’s most negatively impacted by COVID-19.”

Funding for the projects primarily come through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds with other federal grant funds and donations through fundraising efforts.

Work on the driving range should begin in Spring 2023, while the building projects are slated to start in Fall 2023. The projects should be completed sometime during the summer of 2024. The expansions would be just west of the main South Sioux City campus building at 1001 College Way.