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Steckman describes new fund to boost Iowa’s workforce

State Rep. Sharon Steckman
State Rep. Sharon Steckman

From Rep. Sharon Steckman –

With Iowa facing a skilled work shortage and most jobs now requiring some training beyond high school, the Iowa Legislature took action this year to help Iowans get the skills they need to land a good job and help employers find workers through the new Skilled Worker Job Creation Fund.

Available at each of Iowa’s 15 community colleges, the new fund will develop training and education programs that focus on the workforce skills, from entry level to advanced, required by local employers in each region.

For the first time, Iowa is also investing in adult basic education courses for adult literacy and English Language Learners. The goal is to help low-skill adult workers get the tools they need to land a good-paying job.

For workers who need financial assistance to upgrade their skills, the Legislature also approved grants to train workers specifically for jobs with a shortage of workers and another to help need-based applicants enroll in certificate programs, like welding.

The financial assistance is available through each local community college.
Connecting to Businesses

Work-based learning intermediary networks will connect high school juniors and seniors to job shadowing opportunities. They will also provide opportunities for teachers to see how Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education works in Iowa businesses.

To ensure our community colleges are producing workers with the skills needed for local jobs, the local networks will work with businesses to identify skilled job shortages and develop training programs tailored to meet the needs of local businesses.

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