The Iowa Valley Community College District has established its priorities for the upcoming 2013 legislative session and has made them known to area legislators.
The college district, led by Chancellor Chris Duree, is currently letting the media in on the priorities in an effort for more awareness.
One of the main priorities is the need for funding of Adult Basic Education programs. The college offers these programs, primarily through its Education & Training Center in Marshalltown, and Duree said the need is great. Duree cited a study that estimates 26 percent of those between the ages 18 and 24 in Marshall County have less than a high school diploma.
"We want to point out to (legislators) that this is a growing need that's not going away," Duree said. "We have a lot of people who still need to get back and get their high school diploma."
Duree said the college has been adjusting to the ever-increasing Hispanic population in the area.
"The Marshalltown community has embraced this as an opportunity and I think we are ahead of the curve," Duree said.
As far as total funding for all programs statewide, the Iowa group of community colleges is asking for $186 million in state funding from the next budget set during the 2013 legislative session. Last year, the college got $177 million in state aid.
Duree said it's important that the colleges show what they are doing with the money.
"The community colleges are basing their request for funding on data that supports the request," Duree said.
One of the points during the election campaign was the need for a skilled workforce to attract businesses and jobs. Duree said the community colleges provide this type of training.
"We truly believe that workforce training dollars are put to good use," Duree said.