KEWANEE, Ill. – When Black Hawk College officials decided to build a new place for GED classes in Kewanee, they envisioned a hub for education and community growth. That was more than 10 years ago.
Today, the Community Education Center is filling that mission with everything from health care classes to community meetings to free computer training and access. The building in downtown Kewanee has become an outreach center.
“Every day we have people walk in to find out what the college can do for them,” said David Harris, Community Education Center coordinator.
When the building opened in August 2007, there were free computer and GED classes. Programs have been added over the years. First was the Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program.
“We look to employers to see what types of jobs are needed and then we try to offer programs to meet that need,” commented Harris. “Health care is expanding so we are looking at new programs there.”
Last year Medical Assisting Program was added and the classes filled almost immediately. This fall two more programs – Medical Billing Specialist and Medical Coding Specialist – are being added.
After a one-year hiatus, the Tech Savvy computer literacy program is back with more classes and special programs for adults and youths. The program offers free access to computers and, beginning in late August, free computer classes.
The Community Education Center has developed into a hub for the community. The large and small conference rooms are used by groups and businesses. The Kewanee Economic Development Corporation and Partners in Job Training have their offices in the center. With area plant closings, there have been employee meetings at the center.
The Walldogs, farmers’ market coordinators and the Drug-Free Communities Task Force have met in the building to plan and organize. The Illinois Migrant Council meets with workers who are looking for help with education. Non-profit agencies from around the area meet with clients at the center.
Across the parking lot from the Community Education Center, the college’s new Welding and Skilled Trades Center is under construction with an anticipated opening in January.
“Black Hawk College is about making our community a better place. The Community Education Center is making a powerful contribution but we are just getting started!” Harris said.
The Community Education Center is located at 404 E. Third St., Kewanee. For more information on classes or activities at the center, call 309-854-1875 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated 8/7/2014