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Funding available to help grow Registered Apprenticeship programs

DES MOINES -- Organizations are invited to submit proposals to Iowa Workforce Development to receive funding to grow Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in Iowa.


Iowa Workforce Development was recently awarded an additional $1 million ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to strengthen and grow Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in Iowa. The grant is focused on expanding opportunities in healthcare and advanced manufacturing, the fastest growing and largest employment sectors in the state, as well as increasing the participation of women, youth, minorities, veterans and people with disabilities.


Organizations can apply for funding in five areas: Quality Pre-Apprenticeship; High School Registered Apprenticeship; Healthcare Sector Registered Apprenticeship; Advanced Manufacturing Sector Registered Apprenticeship; and Pilot Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program.


Gov. Kim Reynolds encourages organizations to apply for the funding to further grow Iowa?s Registered Apprenticeship footprint.


?Increasing the number of Registered Apprenticeship Programs and Registered Apprentices will help us close Iowa?s skills gap and help Iowans pursue rewarding careers and good-paying jobs,? Reynolds said. ?Healthcare and manufacturing are critical to Iowa?s economy, and it is vital we have the skilled workers for these jobs. Registered Apprenticeship growth is an important strategy to help our state reach its Future Ready Iowa goal of having 70 percent of its workforce with education or training beyond high school by 2025.?


The funding proposals are due to Iowa Workforce Development by 1 p.m. July 27. The full Request for Proposal and the guidelines for submitting a proposal is available online for the following programs:


? Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Programs: Recognized Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Programs can apply for a $10,000 award to focus on career pathways to create or provide on-going support of a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship program. The funds can be used for creation of curriculum, supportive services, participant support costs, outreach, and staff costs for developing and operating the program. Each Quality Pre-Apprenticeship program must have at least one Quality Pre-Apprentice or 10 percent of Quality Pre-Apprentices, whichever amount is greater, hired by a Registered Apprenticeship program by Oct. 31, 2020. Total funding available is $150,000.


? High School Registered Apprenticeship Programs: High School Registered Apprenticeship Programs can apply for a $15,000 award. This award can be used to start or to support a current High School Registered Apprenticeship Program. The funds can be used for related training instruction, supportive services and a Registered Apprenticeship coordinator. Total funding available is $145,000.


? Healthcare Sector Registered Apprenticeship Program: This funding is to be used to grow at least 200 active Registered Apprentices in the healthcare sector. The funds can be used for related training instruction, supportive services, stipends to apprentices or sponsors to incentivize retention, a Registered Apprenticeship coordinator and travel. Total funding available is $150,000.


? Advanced Manufacturing Registered Sector Apprenticeship Program: This funding is to be used to grow at least 200 active Registered Apprentices in the advanced manufacturing sector. The funds can be used for related training instruction, supportive services, stipends to apprentices or sponsors to incentivize retention, a Registered Apprenticeship coordinator and travel. Total funding available is $150,000.


? Pilot Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program: This funding will be used to provide a pipeline of at least 200 active pre-apprentices to Registered Apprenticeship Programs with a focus on underrepresented populations. The funds can be used for creation of curriculum, supportive services, participant support costs, outreach, and staff costs for developing and operating the program. Extra points will be awarded for programs targeting healthcare and advanced manufacturing sectors and programs that have a statewide presence. Total funding available is $125,000.


Iowa Workforce Development received an initial $1.8 million ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grant received from the U.S. Department of Labor in November of 2016. The additional $1 million in funding ends on Oct. 31, 2020.


Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development, said the additional funding can serve as a springboard for organizations to start a new program or support an existing program.


?More and more employers from diverse industries are finding a Registered Apprenticeship allows them to recruit, train and retain workers to build a workforce that meets their needs,? Townsend said. ?We are excited to receive this additional funding that we can share with organizations who are committed to growing Registered Apprenticeship opportunities, helping us to meet the Future Ready Iowa goal.?


Registered Apprenticeship Programs help recruit, train a skilled workforce and retain talent. There are currently more than 1,000 apprenticeable occupations in industries that include energy, information technology, healthcare, financial services, transportation, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage preparation, and the building trades.


Iowa employers and job seekers can explore Registered Apprenticeship opportunities at earnandlearniowa.gov. The website helps employers understand how a Registered Apprenticeship Program works, the value it brings to their business, the resources available to help them set up a program and has a form to complete to receive more information.


Job seekers interested in exploring Registered Apprenticeship opportunities are encouraged to visit the website and fill out an online form to connect them to a local IowaWORKS Center.


IowaWORKS Center staff can help job seekers with resume preparation, cover letter assistance and mock interviews.