New Partnership Aims to Prime Iowa’s Workforce Pipeline
DES MOINES, IA – Gov. Kim Reynolds, the presidents of Iowa’s community college, and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) signed a new agreement on February 28 that aims to grow work-based learning opportunities for businesses and students.
With more than 1,500 members in 99 Iowa counties, ABI serves clients and partners statewide, and many of its members partner with Iowa community colleges in workforce training and program development. Work-based learning involves a variety of opportunities for high school students, including job shadowing, apprenticeship, internships and career coaching, that introduce students to careers in high-demand areas.
"ABI and Iowa’s community colleges have many priorities in common; but perhaps none more so than the skilled workforce needed to grow our business partners and Iowa's economy, which in turn lifts the well-being of Iowa families,” said NICC President Liang Chee Wee, Ph.D., at the February 28 signing event of the new agreement. Dr. Wee was among several leaders invited to speak at the ceremony. Dr. Wee serves as chair of Iowa’s community college presidents and co-chair of a Future Ready Iowa Alliance committee.
"This signing today is to formalize our common focus on increasing work-based learning collaborations to prime our workforce pipeline,” added Dr. Wee. “Through affordable, quality, accessible and up-to-date education and training, we meet the needs of our communities. Most importantly, ABI and the 15 community colleges, through this consortium, affirm our strong and unwavering support of Governor Reynolds' Future Ready Iowa strategic initiative."
The Governor's Future Ready Iowa's goal is that 70 percent of all Iowans will have earned a post high school industry recognized certificate or other credential, or two- or four-year college degree that meets employer needs by 2025. More information about Future Ready Iowa is available at www.futurereadyiowa.gov.