Iowans looking to develop skills or a technical trade have additional opportunities after actions taken by the Iowa Legislature. The new opportunities are designed to address Iowa’s skilled worker shortage by streamlining the Iowa Jobs Training Program and expanding access to apprenticeship training throughout the state.
A new Apprenticeship Training program will receive $3 million annually to train Iowans in a trade or skill. Previously, apprenticeship sponsors were paid using a formula based on students starting the program. The Legislature altered the formula so that it is based on students finishing apprenticeship programs, which encourages apprenticeship programs to increase retention and completion rates.
The Jobs Training Program will also receive $3 million annually. The money will be distributed to each of Iowa’s 15 community colleges to work with local business and train workers for jobs in key shortage areas in each community.
According to Iowa Workforce Development, 50% of jobs in Iowa are middle-skill jobs. Middle skill jobs require more than a high school diploma but not a four year degree; they require an associate’s degree, a training certificate, or an apprenticeship. Currently, only 33% of Iowans meet these requirements. The largest percentage of Iowa workers, 38%, are considered low skill. Low skilled workers are those with a high school diploma or below. Low skilled positions make up just 18% of Iowa jobs.
For information on job training or apprenticeships, visit http://www.iowaworkforce.com/apprenticeship/individuals.htm or contact your local community college.