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Clinton Museum Receives State Grant

Visitors at an eastern Iowa museum can now relive the past with the help of modern technology. Thanks to a grant, the Sawmill Museum in Clinton is using a new computer kiosk to tell the story of the wood industry. The grant came from Elevate Iowa, a campaign to encourage education about advanced manufacturing. 

Museum director, Matt Parbs, says the kiosk helps the museum further its mission, which is to show visitors how wood tools, jobs, and the industry itself, have changed.  

"We've got a working sawmill. We've got the finishing mill. We have a classroom and we have other exhibits on the lumber barons and different tools used. In the grand scheme of things, we can say it's a small little part, but we're grateful to have it and it's a nice addition."

The Sawmill Museum is one of 15 institutions to receive a grant, as part of an effort by the state and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry to train people for advanced manufacturing jobs. 

     Parbs says, "Back in 1880, all you needed is a two-man saw to cut down a tree, and today you probably need a computer engineering background to figure out how to cut down a tree. That was the kind of general gist of the program and the partnership."

Elevate Iowa includes over 1,400 businesses and community colleges in the state.

Renata Sago is WMFE's general assignment reporter and occasional Morning Edition anchor. She covers everything from major political campaigns and unemployment to civil rights legislation and the performing arts for WMFE and NPR.