SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Two Iowa community colleges received grants worth $1.5 million dollars to help prepare high school students for the future.

According to a release, Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education awarded $1.5 million in competitive grants on Monday to Western Iowa Tech Community College (WITCC) and Indian Hills Community College through the Career Academy Incentive Fund to prepare high school students in college, postsecondary training, and the workforce.

WITCC received a $1 million grant that will be used to create a new regional center in Denison that will serve students from five rural districts in western Iowa: Denison, Boyer Valley, Maple Valley-Anthon Oto/Charter Oak-Ute (MVAOCOU), Odebolt-Arthur-Battle Creek-Ida Grove (OABCIG), and Woodbine. The regional center will provide students with access to career academy programming in agriculture, business, electrical and education.

“Expanding career academies develops our workforce talent pipeline and prepares high school students for high-skill, high-demand careers that are available right here in Iowa,” said Gov. Reynolds. “I commend Western Iowa Tech and Indian Hills for their leadership in growing career academies where students can explore careers available in their communities while earning valuable industry experience and college credit.”

Indian Hills Community College received the remaining $500,000 grant that will be used to expand career academy programs at the Hills West Regional Center.