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Reynolds highlights apprenticeship growth in Iowa

Kim ReynoldsFrom Press Release

 

Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today was joined at the administration’s weekly press conference by Jason Shanks of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 33 and Duane Boswell of TMC Transportation to highlight the growth and importance of apprenticeships to their respective organizations.  U.S. Department of Labor data has shown Iowa as one of the top four states in the nation in terms of active apprentice growth from federal fiscal year 2013 to federal fiscal year 2014.

“As I travel around Iowa, I constantly hear from employers who are in need of a skilled workforce—especially in manufacturing, information technology, STEM and health-related fields,” said Reynolds. “Our focus on apprenticeships in Iowa is a key avenue to fill the skills gap for employers and empower Iowans with rewarding careers.  Growing our talent pipeline is essential for the 21st century global economy.”

Registered apprenticeships are a proven approach to preparing workers for in-demand jobs and meeting the needs of business for a highly skilled workforce that can innovate and adapt.  They also allow students and workers of all ages to earn a paycheck and avoid debt while crafting skills.  Advancing work-based learning, like apprenticeships, is a key focus area of the Future Ready Iowa initiative.

In 2014, Gov. Terry Branstad signed the Iowa Apprenticeship and Job Training Act which tripled the funding for apprenticeships on an annual basis while reforming and improving the state’s apprenticeship program.  The standing appropriation for registered apprenticeships is just over $3 million.

In 2013, Iowa had 8,181 registered apprentices in 662 registered apprenticeship programs. That grew to 9,146 and 715, respectively, last year. This year, with a few weeks left to add a few more before the start of the federal fiscal year on Oct. 1, those numbers have now grown to 9,713 apprentices in 753 programs.