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Governor Reynolds calls for greater federal flexibility in workforce development efforts

Kim Reynolds
DES MOINES – Governor Kim Reynolds testified today at a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, chaired by U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA). Reynolds outlined Iowa’s efforts on workforce development through the Future Ready Iowa Initiative, and called for greater federal government flexibility in programs aimed at self-sufficiency.

“What struck me from my very first days as Lt. Governor, and now as Governor, is how common — and universal — the concerns of Iowans are about workforce development,” said Gov. Reynolds. “By closing the skills gap, we can help Iowans pursue a career they love that will provide for their future. This isn’t just an economic issue; it is also a vital quality of life issue.”

Gov. Reynolds said Iowa’s innovative Future Ready Iowa initiative would also benefit from Sen. Ernst’s EMPOWERS Act, which would give states greater flexibility in integrating and reforming two or more federal means-tested programs aimed at reducing poverty, promoting employment, financial literacy, family stability, and self-sufficiency.

“Rather than pursuing a new federal program for every problem, we need people in Congress who, like Sen. Ernst, understand that more flexibility to the states to effectively and creatively implement solutions is a good thing,” Gov. Reynolds said.

Gov. Reynolds also expressed support for Sen. Ernst’s Wind Workforce Modernization and Training Act, which would address an immediate critical workforce need in helping Iowa community colleges, Iowa State University and the University of Iowa expand their wind turbine technician training programs.

“We all know that Iowa is the tip of the spear in the wind revolution,” said Gov. Reynolds. “That has created an enormous demand for workers skilled to maintain the more than 4,100 wind turbines in Iowa today.”

Future Ready Iowa is Gov. Reynolds’ signature workforce development initiative aimed at connecting Iowans to the training and education opportunities they need for good-paying jobs and fulfilling careers. In 2019, the Legislature appropriated $16 million to fund Future Ready Iowa.

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