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Senator Ragan says steps being taken to prep Iowans for manufacturing jobs

Senator Amanda Ragan
The following is a legislative update from Senator Amanda Ragan of Mason City –

PREPARING IOWANS FOR TODAY’S MANUFACTURING JOBS

Manufacturing is one of the largest employers in our state. Iowa ranks third in the country for percentage of workers in manufacturing—8.4 percent—and the industry is growing.

In August, there were 214,800 manufacturing jobs in Iowa. That’s 1,400 more than a year ago. Four of Iowa’s top 10 jobs with the greatest number of openings are related to manufacturing.

October 6 is National Manufacturing Day, and the industry uses the entire month to highlight how manufacturing work has changed in recent decades and to showcase its interesting, varied and good-paying careers. Manufacturing jobs have become highly technical skilled positions that often involve robotics, automated machinery and computers.

To meet growing demand for skilled workers, Iowans need advanced training, certifications and education. Our goal is for 70 percent of Iowa workers to have education or training beyond high school by 2025.

STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering & Math—is a key to preparing Iowa students for manufacturing jobs and other skilled careers. A new report shows that around 90 percent of Iowans:

· Think an increased focus on STEM will improve the state’s economy.
· Believe there is an urgent need to invest more in STEM education.
· Want STEM education be a priority in their local school district.

The good news is that students are on board. More than 75 percent of students are interested in science, technology and engineering, or working in a STEM career. And more Iowa students are taking STEM courses and pursuing STEM degrees.

What’s even better news? Many STEM students want to live and work in Iowa!

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