Statewide Future Ready Iowa Summits Announced

DES MOINES, IOWA – Registration is now open to attend Future Ready Iowa Regional Summits throughout the state and collaborate with local stakeholders on workforce solutions.

The day-long summits are scheduled for late September and early October in nine Iowa communities:  Atlantic, Burlington, Davenport, Denison, Fort Dodge, Muscatine, Pella, Sheffield, and Spencer. The events will bring together key stakeholders in education, business, economic development and community to create local strategies that ensure all Iowans are future ready.

“Future Ready Iowa was created to connect more Iowans with rewarding careers and good-paying jobs with Iowa employers,” Gov. Reynolds said of the initiative, which has a goal of 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce having education or training beyond high school by 2025. “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.”

Using a localized lens, the summits will provide a platform for strategies outlined in the Future Ready Iowa Act, which was passed with unanimous, bipartisan support by the Iowa legislature earlier this year. Each summit will provide tailored discussions on how to find, use and talk about a community’s occupation, income, education and demographic data. Stakeholders will also discuss underrepresented populations, business/education partnerships and preparation for the changing workforce.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to addressing challenges of our state’s workforce,” Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said. “Local stakeholders must be the ones to identify the specific challenges of employers in their area as well as develop solutions through collaboration.”

Planning for the regional summits is reflective of the recommendations proposed by the Future Ready Iowa Alliance, a cross-sector collaboration of 58 leaders across the state. Engaging business, community and other regional partners in a grassroots strategy is an action item suggested by the Alliance in October.

“These will be working summits and highly interactive,” Future Ready Iowa Policy Adviser Kathy Leggett said. “Participants will gain an understanding of our goal, how it relates to their role in the community and take away a toolkit of next steps.”

The summits are being organized by statewide partners in workforce, business and education.

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 a summit at FutureReadyIowa.gov/Summits.

Future Ready Iowa Regional Summit Dates and Locations

  • Atlantic - REGISTER
    Monday, Sept. 24, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Venue, 307 Walnut St.

  • Burlington -  REGISTER
    Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Comfort Suite & Inns, 1780 Stonegate Center Dr.

  • Davenport - REGISTER
    Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Putnam Museum and Science Center, 1717 W. 12th St.

  • Denison - REGISTER
    Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Boulders Conference Center, 2507 Boulders Dr.

  • Fort Dodge - REGISTER
    Monday, Oct. 1, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Iowa Central Community College, East Campus - Triton Room, 2031 Quail Ave.

  • Muscatine - REGISTER
    Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Musser Public Library, 408 E 2nd St.

  • Pella - REGISTER
    Monday, Oct. 1, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m at Central College, 812 University St.

  • Sheffield - REGISTER
    Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sukup Mfg. Corporate Office, 1555 255th St.

  • Spencer - REGISTER
    Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at ECI Spencer Schools Administration Building, 23 E. 7th St.

Additional summits are being planned in Ames, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Sioux City, and Waterloo. For more information about those planning efforts or to inquire about planning a summit in your area, contact Leggett at kathy.leggett@iwd.iowa.gov.