Heartland donation to jumpstart remodeling trade school

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

Heartland CEO Mark Scheibe, from left, presents a check to Pleasanton USD 344 board members Jay Allen, Linda Conley, Cindy Inman and Superintendent Travis Laver on Friday, Nov. 5. The money will be used to help remodeling of the new trade school facility. (Roger Sims, Linn County Journal)

By Doug Graham, Heartland Communication Specialist

PLEASANTON – Pleasanton USD 344’s new trade school serving students in and around Linn County will receive a $4,000 boost thanks to a Sharing Success grant from Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative in partnership with CoBank.

Each fall, Heartland identifies a worthwhile organization or project for a $2,000 donation, which CoBank matches dollar for dollar through the Sharing Success program.

Mark Scheibe, Heartland’s CEO, said the new trade school was a natural fit for Sharing Success.

“We know first-hand that there are great jobs for skilled workers right here in the communities we serve,” Scheibe said. “By helping students get ready for those jobs, USD 344 is doing something that’s not only going to benefit the students and their families, but it's going to help ensure our area can continue to thrive for many years to come.

Starting next fall, Pleasanton USD 344’s trade school will offer a range of training programs leading to certificates in carpentry, EMT, heavy equipment operation, and more.

Superintendent Travis Laver said more than 140 students in Linn County have expressed interest in programs at the trade school, and participation is also expected from students in Louisburg and a few districts in Missouri.

The school will be located in the former Cox Motors Ford building in Pleasanton, which the district will take possession of in December.

Funds from Heartland’s Sharing Success grant will go toward bringing rolling shop doors up to code and replacing old oil-burning heaters with new infrared models.

Laver said the money will be very helpful in getting the new doors on so that construction inside the structure can begin once the school district takes possession of the building in early December.

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