Garcia at the helm of industrial technology and transportation at Iowa Western | Education

There is a new person heading the Department of Industrial and Transportation Technology this year at Iowa Western Community College.

Diana Garcia took over as the department’s academic dean last fall, replacing Matt Mancuso, who became executive director of economic development and workforce.

“I’ve always been interested in education,” she says. “I feel like it’s the only way to progress in life. I am delighted to think that the company is changing its vision of the trades.

Garcia was previously director of truck services for the Nebraska Trucking Association in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she worked for seven years. She has been teaching history online since 2010.

His first big challenge at Iowa Western will be to design and implement a commercial driver’s license program that will train the truckers of the future.

“We’re hoping to start a CDL program this fall, so that was a big draw for me,” she said.

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Garcia is, of course, well aware of the shortage of truckers.

“It will be our way of helping,” she said.

Garcia will also be involved in initiating and overseeing career academies that Iowa Western plans to establish in the Missouri Valley and Harlan. The college purchases part of the Trivium Life Services building at 115 S. Harrison St. in the Missouri Valley at a cost of approximately $285,000. This space will be repurposed for use as a career academy for the Missouri Valley, West Harrison, Logan-Magnolia and Tri-Center community school districts. There are plans to offer courses in welding, electricity, construction and agriculture at the facility.

Iowa Western also purchased the rest of its central Shelby County facility from the city of Harlan for $1 and will convert part of that space into a vocational academy that will serve Harlan-area students. The college plans to provide training in electro-mechanics for local businesses and training in automotive/diesel, industrial technology, health care and trades. The Harlan building won’t need as many renovations to turn it into a professional academy, she said.

Garcia grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico, and her family moved to Sioux City when she was a sophomore in high school. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Morningside University and a master’s degree from Institut Barcelona Estudis Internacionals in Barcelona, ​​Spain. Prior to entering the trucking industry, she worked for the Nebraska Migrant Association.

She lives in Papillion with her husband, Raul Soria, who is director of safety for an Omaha trucking company. She has two stepdaughters, aged 24 and 19; a step-grandson, 6 years old; and a step-granddaughter, 3 months.