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Cradle, College, Career (C³) is a collaboration of education, business, government, labor, and non-profit sectors working together to increase the number of Ottumwa students and citizens alike who are ready for, have access to, and persist in reaching their goals to obtain a college degree and/or credential.

 has been working together since May 28, 2014 to lay the groundwork for collaborative projects to improve educational attainment among Ottumwa residents. Since that initial meeting, C³ is now utilizing a Local College Access Network (LCAN) Implementation Grant, funded through the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, to further the goals of the initiative regarding community support and barriers to postsecondary education.