Four More Future Ready Iowa Regional Summits Announced

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: August 28, 2018
Contact: Cory Kelly
Email:  cory.kelly@iwd.iowa.gov

DES MOINES, IOWA – Registration is now open for four additional Future Ready Iowa Regional Summits throughout the state, increasing opportunities for collaboration to address the state’s shortage of skilled workers.

The day-long summits are scheduled for this fall in the Iowa communities of Des MoinesElkader, and Iowa City-Cedar Rapids and in the Cedar Valley region. The events will bring together key stakeholders in education, business, economic development and community organizations to create local strategies to ensure all Iowans are future ready. Summits already announced include locations in Ames, Atlantic,Burlington, Centerville, CrestonDavenport, Denison, Fort Dodge, Muscatine, Pella, Sheffield, Sioux City, and Spencer.

Leaders across Iowa reached out to host additional summits after the first 13 were announced this summer, demonstrating a desire to bring Future Ready Iowa to their area. The Future Ready Iowa Initiative has the goal of 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce having education or training beyond high school by 2025.

“Partnerships are at the heart of what the Future Ready Iowa Initiative is all about,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said. “The Future Ready Iowa Regional Summits will provide an opportunity for local and regional partners to come together and discuss potential solutions based on their area’s workforce needs and challenges.”

So far, over 850 Iowans are registered for a summit. Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said the interest reflects Iowans' willingness to get involved and develop solutions. 

“Our summit in Spencer hit capacity three weeks after we opened up registration and others are filling up quickly,” she said, explaining the need for hosting additional summits. “If you want to get involved in Future Ready Iowa strategies in your community, we want you to be able to attend a summit near you.”

The Iowa legislature passed the Future Ready Iowa Act earlier this year with unanimous, bipartisan support. The Act outlines education, workforce and business collaborative strategies for the state to encourage more Iowans to obtain education and training beyond high school. The 17 summits will provide a platform to convene local leaders around these strategies, creating localized solutions that address the needs of their region.  

According to Future Ready Iowa Policy Adviser Kathy Leggett, many communities are signing up in groups, which will help them work together to facilitate solutions. The summits are designed to be highly interactive and encourage cross-sector collaboration within regions.

“We want communities to bring their teams!” Leggett said. “Everyone who attends a summit will get a chance to make new connections in their area and get inspired to think creatively about workforce solutions.”

Learn more at FutureReadyIowa.gov and register to attend a summit at FutureReadyIowa.gov/Summits.

Newly Announced Future Ready Iowa Regional Summit Dates and Locations

For more information about those planning efforts or to inquire about planning a summit in your area, contact Kathy Leggett at kathy.leggett@iwd.iowa.gov