Governor Reynolds to Attend Future Ready Iowa Summit in Burlington

Event Provides Opportunities for Citizens to be part of Local Education and Business Solutions

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: September 12, 2018
Contact: Cory Kelly
Email:  cory.kelly@iwd.iowa.gov

BURLINGTON, IOWA - Gov. Kim Reynolds is scheduled to attend the Future Ready Iowa Summit in Burlington on Tuesday, Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Comfort Suites, 1780 Stonegate Center Dr.

“One of the biggest barriers to economic growth right now is lack of a skilled workforce,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said. “Future Ready Iowa connects Iowans to the great jobs and opportunities that exist in our state through education and training. I’m optimistic about the capacity that exists in Iowa and the opportunity to get Iowans trained for these high-demand jobs.”

There is still time to register for the free summit. Educators, business leaders, human resource professionals, economic developers, community organizers and interested citizens are encouraged to attend the event, which will focus on engaging collaborative partners in projects to improve the region’s workforce. Registration closes on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Participants will learn about Future Ready Iowa, the workforce initiative that aims to close Iowa’s skilled workforce gap by encouraging 70 percent of working Iowans to achieve education or training beyond high school by 2025. Attendees will also have a chance to connect with businesses across the state that are implementing solutions to build a qualified workforce.

Dennis Fraise, the Chief Operating Officer of Lee County Economic Development, is all too familiar with the region’s workforce shortage. At the summit, he will speak about the challenges of attracting and retaining businesses in the region.

“Our transportation system offers multiple options and the cost of doing business here is relatively low,” Fraise said, highlighting some of the advantages employers have in Lee County. “The one area where we could use improvement is the availability of our skilled workforce.”

Future Ready Iowa is identifying a list of high-demand occupations in the region with projected high growth that require a credential past high school. “People these days want more than a job,” said Fraise. “They want a quality of life that our state can provide.”

Chad Palmer is among the engaged community members planning to attend the summit. “I was born and raised in Burlington, and I wanted to locate my company in a community that shares my values,” he said. Palmer is President and CEO of Energyficient Systems, Inc, a business that provides efficient lighting systems solutions to manufacturing plants and public institutions.

Palmer serves on the area’s workforce board and believes Future Ready Iowa issues are important for businesses of all sizes. “This summit will help connect business owners like me with new ideas and resources to continue growing in this community,” he said.

Future Ready Iowa’s goal is for 70 percent of its workforce to achieve education or training beyond high school by 2025. Its vision is for an Iowa where every job is filled and every worker is fulfilled. Learn more at FutureReadyIowa.gov and register to attend this and any of the other summits occurring around the state at FutureReadyIowa.gov/Summits.