Workforce Development & Education - Iowa Chamber Alliance

Workforce Development & Education

Iowa now has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, exacerbating already urgent workforce issues. Iowa businesses continue to struggle to find qualified candidates, with the appropriate skills, who are ready to work.

The Alliance highlights three key workforce policy areas to broaden its overall workforce development strategy:

TRAINING

The Iowa Chamber Alliance will advocate for the full funding of the Future Ready Iowa initiative and continued support of its strategic objective to “build Iowa’s talent pipeline.”

The Iowa Chamber Alliance supports programs and training opportunities such as the Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program (260E) and the Iowa Jobs Training Program (260F), and Iowa’s Registered Apprenticeship Programs. These programs expand Iowa’s workforce through new employee training, increasing employees’skill sets, and improving productivity for employers.

SCHOOLS

Preparing Iowa’s future workforce with a quality education that readies high school graduates for either a four-year college education or a vocational training course, without need for academic remediation, remains a priority. This will require sufficient funding for schools; a continued emphasis on STEM; continued adherence to the Iowa Core and a rigorous assessment tool; and additional reforms to elevate Iowa’s student achievement.

The Alliance supports action on K-12 funding that allows schools to certify their budgets on time, is equitable across the range of Iowa’s diverse school districts, and is at a level that is both appropriate and sustainable.

The Alliance encourages all levels of education – K-12 to community colleges to public and private colleges and universities – to understand the needs of the employment marketplace to ensure workforce-ready graduates. There should be a conscious pursuit of alignment, coordination, and collaboration between business, government, and education to offer seamless opportunities that best meet the needs of Iowa’s students and the workplace. The Alliance supports and values robust vocational and higher education to further develop a solid talent pipeline.

TALENT ATTRACTION & RETENTION

Talent attraction and retention are key priorities for Iowa’s business community. It’s critical that Iowa leaders develop strategies to attract and retain talent in the state by working to make Iowa a desirable place to live with robust communities and a high quality of life for residents. We need forward-looking strategies to keep Iowans in the state, attract new Iowans, and welcome new Americans to make their homes in Iowa. Securing sustained, reliable funding of the Enhance Iowa initiative must be part of this strategy.

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