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Prospective students treated to country music concert at NIACC

This news story was published on March 31, 2016.
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Students at CMT Event

Students at CMT Event

MASON CITY – More than 900 students from around North Iowa and southern Minnesota gathered at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) on Wednesday, March 30, to take part in a County Music Television (CMT) Empowering Education Concert Event.

The day began with prospective students engaging in interactive sessions related to in-demand career paths including Agriculture, Industrial, Health, Nursing, Math, and Science, among others. Area businesses were also on hand to talk with students about career opportunities and the strong demand for NIACC graduates.

The country band, “Country Two Piece,” from southwest Iowa entertained students during lunch. After assembling into the Auditorium, NIACC President Steve Schulz welcomed the group. Short videos highlighted the journeys of three students, Jamar Hughes, Lea Johnson, Kollin Ort, and alumnus Taylor Hubbard. The videos revealed very different paths, challenges, and successes of the various students.

A student panel was moderated by CMT Public Affairs Manager Sarah Gaffney. The highlight of the day was a concert performed by the up-and-coming musical group, “Smithfield.” “Smithfield” was just named one of Huffington Post’s “Top 20 Artists To Watch In 2016” – See more at: .

The goal of the CMT Empowering Education initiative is to highlight the importance of a community college education and to encourage high school and adult students to explore career and technical education. The campaign highlights the important role community colleges play in providing affordable, relevant education and training aligned with the workforce needs in rural America.

NIACC would like to thank the following sponsors who talked with prospective students about career opportunities after college and sponsored lunch and prizes for the attendees: Henkel Construction Company, Accumold, Ag Ventures Alliance, CMT Empowering Education, Enhance Iowa, Kofab, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa, North Iowa Corridor, QPS Employment Group, Stellar Industries, Youth Entrepreneurial Academy, and Smithfield Foods.


CMT Empowering Education is a comprehensive educational campaign that provides both an online resource,, and on-the-ground support to aid prospective students in overcoming the most commonly perceived obstacles to furthering education. The initiative is founded on educational research and insights through a partnership between Viacom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Advising partners for the CMT Empowering Education campaign include Achieving the Dream, the Association of Career and Technical Education, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Center for Workforce and Economic Development at the American Association of Community Colleges, the National Skills Coalition, and Skills for America’s Future (the Aspen Institute).

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