For immediate release
Contact: Courtney Greene, IWD Communications Director
Iowa receives $200,000 accelerator grant from U.S. Department of Labor to increase number of Registered Apprenticeships
Des Moines, IA—The United States Department of Labor announced today that Iowa will receive part of a $10.4 million ApprenticeshipUSA State Accelerator Grant to expand and expedite apprenticeship programs in Iowa and across the country. Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) will receive $200,000 to help integrate apprenticeships into education and workforce systems, conduct outreach, work with employers to start new apprenticeship programs, and promote greater inclusion and diversity.
IWD Director Beth Townsend said Iowa is poised to have an immediate impact, since work is already underway to expand registered apprenticeships in Iowa. “Apprenticeships are a proven path to high quality, good paying jobs,” said Townsend. “Workers earn while they learn and reduce the skills gap, and employers benefit as well. For every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers receive an average of $1.47 return in increased productivity and greater frontline innovation.”
These investments are part of a historic bipartisan Congressional effort to appropriate funds specifically for apprenticeship for the first time double and diversify the number of apprenticeships by 2019.
In the coming weeks, the U.S. Department of Labor will announce the availability of an additional $50 million in State Expansion Grants, for states looking to expand their capacity to collaborate with employers and start new apprenticeship programs across diverse industries and communities.
Director Townsend said it’s an exciting time to pursue apprenticeship opportunities, adding, “Many people think of construction trades when they hear the word ‘apprenticeship,’ but health care, information technology (IT) and advance manufacturing apprenticeships are growing here in Iowa. We are developing a path for both employers and workers to take advantage of apprenticeship opportunities.”
For more information on efforts to expand apprenticeships, visit www.dol.gov/apprenticeship.