Iowa receives $1.8 million grant to expand Registered Apprenticeship opportunities

For Immediate Release. 
Date: October 21, 2016
Contact: Courtney Maxwell Greene

Iowa receives $1.8 million grant to expand Registered Apprenticeship opportunities 

DES MOINES, IA - Today, the United States Department of Labor announced that more than $50 million dollars is being distributed to states to increase access to Registered Apprenticeships. Iowa is one of 36 states to receive grant funding that will result in new registered apprenticeships created in diverse industries, including health care, advanced manufacturing, and information technology. Iowa’s award of $1.8 million is tied for the fifth highest amount in the nation, demonstrating Iowa will remain a national leader in growing registered apprenticeships. The Innovative Opportunities with Apprenticeships (IOWA) project will employ extensive outreach and education efforts to further integrate expanded registered apprenticeships into the current workforce model.

Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said the grant will enhance work already being done to double the number of registered apprentices. “The Iowa Apprenticeship Program administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Greer Sisson’s team at the U.S. Department of Labor (Iowa) has put Iowa on the map as a national leader in Registered Apprenticeships. IWD wants to build on previous efforts and deploy these funds using proven strategies to ensure that all Iowans who want to pursue a career through an apprenticeship have that opportunity,” said Director Townsend.

Projects will expand apprenticeships to diverse populations, focusing on women, minorities and other underrepresented groups, who have often been left out of apprenticeship efforts in the past. IWD plans to hire an apprenticeship coordinator to help align education, workforce and business efforts to achieve the goal of doubling the number of registered apprentices in Iowa over the next five years.

Expanding Registered Apprenticeships is an important strategy in Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynold’s Future Ready Iowa Initiative, which aims to ensure than 70 percent of Iowans in the workforce have education or training beyond high school by the year 2025. Registered Apprenticeships provide hands-on experience and education, and allow participants to earn while they learn.

Grant partners include: Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Department of Corrections, Governor’s STEM Council, Des Moines Public School Central Campus, the Iowa Refugee Alliance and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI).