Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has announced a new jobs initiative called the “Skilled Iowa Initiative.” The project aims to bring 200,000 new jobs to Iowa that will focus on jobs skills training. The state plans to work with employers to find out what skills they are in need of and will then work to train and certify potential employees. The initiative is a complement to a STEM education plan released by the Governor in May.
The Skilled Iowa Initiative will allow employers to determine the baseline skill set of the labor pool by testing applicants. Once the test is complete, they will receive a National Career Readiness Certificate indicating their ability.
Another option provided through the initiative will allow workers currently on unemployment to apply for internships from employers. During the internship the state will continue to pay the employee, if the internship is successful they will be given the opportunity to have a job at that company at the end of the period.
The initiative is the latest project rolled out by the Governor to improve the state’s workforce. In May, Branstad announced six cities that will serve as Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) education hubs. The hubs are the first action of the Governor’s STEM advisory council – a public-private partnership designed to improve STEM education and achievement statewide.
“It is important Iowa’s government, private industry and our educational system work together to find innovative solutions,” said Governor Branstad.