DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- Governor Kim Reynolds announced 13 awardees of the Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund Thursday.
The fund is a matching grant designed to help employers find solutions for their employees to achieve postsecondary training and education. A total of $385,516 was awarded to employers, nonprofits, and employer consortiums across the state. It's estimated the grants will serve 2,665 Iowans, according to a press release from Iowa Workforce Development.
"As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical that we help Iowans receive the necessary training for high-demand jobs available today," Gov. Reynolds said. "The Employer Innovation Fund supports the incredible efforts of Iowa employers who are strengthening their own talent pipeline by helping Iowans work toward a life-changing career path. This program as part of the Future Ready Iowa Initiative is changing the way we look at workforce as we provide even greater opportunity for Iowans."
The grants can be used to cover the cost of training and supplies as well as provide support that addresses barriers some Iowans face when trying to obtain skilled training. Support services can be used to cover expenses for childcare, transportation and provide stipends so employees can meet basic necessities while in training.
"This year marks the second Employer Innovation Fund opportunity and Iowa’s businesses, nonprofits and educational institutions make effective programs happen when they work together to address local workforce challenges," Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said. "Creative business solutions are more important than ever and this grant empowers employers to invest in programs and resources that help working Iowans achieve necessary job skills training."
The Future Ready Iowa goal is to have 70% of Iowans in the workforce with education and training beyond high school by 2025. About 60% of Iowa’s current workforce meets that criteria. For more information about Future Ready Iowa, click here.