IWD awarded $1.8M federal apprenticeship grant

October 27, 2016

The Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) agency has been awarded a $1.8 million grant to fund the Innovative Opportunities with Apprenticeships (IOWA) project. ABI President Mike Ralston supported IWD in its effort to attain the grant by writing a letter of support from ABI. Iowa is one of 36 states to receive grant funding that will result in new registered apprenticeships created in diverse industries, including health care, advanced manufacturing and information technology.

Iowa’s $1.8 million award  is tied for the fifth highest amount in the nation, demonstrating Iowa will remain a national leader in growing registered apprenticeships. The IOWA project will employ extensive outreach and education efforts to further integrate expanded registered apprenticeships into the current workforce model.

Project goals include the development of sector strategies and career pathways supported by an aligned and integrated service delivery model. Iowa will identify opportunities for expansion based on labor market data and input from its partner, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, to identify skills gaps. The IOWA project will also employ extensive outreach and education efforts to attract underserved populations including individuals with disabilities, women, minorities, ex-offenders, and out-of-school youth to increase their participation in registered apprenticeships. These populations will have access to opportunities in non-traditional sectors including Information Technology, Health care, and Cybersecurity and Business Services.

IWD will work collaboratively with industry to develop multi-employer programs and program templates to drive growth and engagement. IWD will also launch an industry pilot program effort to provide support and assistance to new sponsors in developing rigorous RA curriculum and programs that fully comply with DOL RA standards. Outreach efforts will include development of a traditional and digital media strategy for web and social medial assets to promote key performance indicators, and include a statewide symposium with  national and local presenters and breakout sessions that showcase successful apprenticeship programs as well as “how to” workshops to encourage new businesses to participate.