Iowa Central Certificate Programs Changing Lives of Students

    by Melissa Jensen
    Posted on 3/24/2015



After being unemployed and having difficulties finding the right job opportunity, Miguel Bravo decided it was time to further his education.  Miguel enrolled in the welding certificate program through Iowa Central Community College.  Coming into the class with a GED, some college credits, and no welding experience, he was ready to take on the challenge.

Like many students, Miguel faced some obstacles while enrolled. Getting to class daily could be hard some days, but he had the willingness to do what it takes to not miss class. Walking to class some days because of vehicle issues showed his drive to succeed.  Math wasn’t always his strong suit but asking questions to the instructor, classmates, and advisors allowed him to grow.

Miguel was one of the top students in his class and is now employed at Meridian.  When asking for advice for future students, he stated, “Take on the adventure you are given and take it for all it’s worth.  Enjoy the experience and soak up as much information as possible. Don’t take it for granted.”


Originally from Chicago, Chris Taylor moved to Storm Lake to find a better life.  After being employed at Hillshire for two years and gaining valuable job experience, Chris was hungry for more skills.  When learning about the welding certificate program through Iowa Central Community College, he knew this was an opportunity to gain skills he was seeking. 

While taking the class, he continued to be employed. He had a full plate but was willing to put in the work needed to guide his career path.  Chris took the class to better himself and took the whole experience for what it was worth.  Although there may have been some obstacles while taking the class, open communication with the instructors and knowing when to take a step back to learn what was being done incorrectly helped him succeed. 

Attending school can be difficult, but with the support of his family, Chris didn’t want to let them down.  He wanted to be a good role model for his two brothers and most importantly, didn’t want to fail.  Completing the class has opened up his mind on other opportunities that are available.  Chris is currently employed at Meridian and has been there for four months.  He loves the atmosphere and his coworkers. He has moved into a new home, bought a new car, and is able to give back to his family and friends if needed.  Chris is excited to see what the future brings him.   

*These opportunities are made available through the TAACCCT (Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training) Grant Program. Welding and Industrial Maintenance Certificate Programs are offered at various times during the year. If anyone is interested in these programs, please call Lindsay Henderson at 515-574-1973.