[Q&A] Rob Denson – DMACC President

President Barack Obama participates in a photo line prior to a college access and affordability town hall at North High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Sept. 14, 2015.

President Barack Obama and Dr. Rob Denson in a photo line at the college access and affordability town hall at North High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Sept. 14, 2015.

Few Iowans grasp the importance of the Community College movement in Iowa. For years our state’s community colleges have been the path for dropouts to resume their education beginning with acquisition of a G.E.D.

Community colleges in Iowa provide relevant education for tens of thousands of High School students unable to get the caliber of academic instruction they need at their home schools.

Community colleges have also been on the frontline of providing vocational and technical education at a time when the demand for skilled workers is high, taxpayer investment in infrastructure is massive but available workers are scarce. A recent Iowa Workforce Development report indicated there is a need for 70,000 skilled workers in our state but they just don’t exist.

Rob Denson, once upon a time ago, lost a close legislative race in Florida after spending $250,000. As Garth Brooks once sang – thank God for unanswered prayers.

Instead of becoming just another politician Denson returned to school, became and educator and eventually ended up in Iowa where his impact has been profound and lasting; not just in our state but on the national stage, too.

On October 22, 2015, UrbanIowaToday.com (UIT) sat down with Dr. Denson to discuss the role community colleges have played in Iowa, DMACC’s unique status in the academic world and his vision going forward.