Oskaloosa Recognized In New Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund

Governor Kim Reynolds announced the first 13 recipients of the new Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund, a matching grant designed to help employers carry out solutions to help their employees achieve postsecondary training and education. The first round of Employer Innovation Fund Grants will distribute over $400,000 in funds to employers across the state.

“The Employer Innovation Fund drives innovation in meeting the workforce challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Gov. Reynolds. “These public-private partnerships address barriers for Iowans looking to get the training they need for a life-changing career. The collaboration happening at the grassroots level serves as a catalyst for Future Ready Iowa’s continued success.
The purpose of the grant is to provide opportunities for working Iowans to earn non-credit and for-credit postsecondary credentials leading to high-demand jobs in the state. Employers, community leaders and others can apply by submitting a proposal for implementing a creative solution to their local workforce needs.

“Employers are a critical part of reaching our Future Ready Iowa goal of having 70 percent of Iowans with postsecondary credentials by 2025,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development. “The Employer Innovation Fund is unique because it empowers employers to find creative ways to strengthen their local workforce and build upon Iowa’s talent pipeline.”
Locally, the workforce committee at the Oskaloosa Area Chamber & Development Group has been meeting monthly, setting goals for future workforce initiatives to take place in Mahaska County. “We are excited to share that two Mahaska County businesses of the 13 total recipients received awards during this grant cycle,” stated Deann De Groot, workforce committee member. The two Mahaska County award recipients include:

Oskaloosa School District- Partnering with Musco, Clow, Oskaloosa Engineering & Manufacturing, Interpower, Mahaska Health Partnership, Cunningham, Oskaloosa Chamber, Oskaloosa Education Foundation, Mahaska Recreation Foundation and Mahaska Economic Development. This project will increase the number of students gaining post-secondary education in the form of certificates and employment in high demand fields by providing transportation for students to attend Career Academies at Indian Hills Community College. Currently students must transport themselves to take advantage of these programs which is a financial barrier to over 50% of the area population. This project will include the communities of Oskaloosa, Eddyville/Blakesburg and North Mahaska.

Mahaska Health Partnership – Lead by Mahaska Health in Oskaloosa this program will be addressing a critical shortage of medical laboratory assistants by identifying current high school seniors who have appropriate academic achievement and a socio-economic or financial need. The goal is to remove financial barriers for students with a desire to attend the training program and have a guaranteed position after completion. Capacity is to identify and support 3 students. This program also includes a laboratory internship and students are assigned a mentor from the Mahaska Health Laboratory. While high school students are a target population, community members can also participate.

To learn more about Mahaska County workforce initiatives currently taking place or if your business is looking for workforce resources, contact Deann at ddegroot@oacdg.org or call 641.672.2591.
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Posted by on Aug 29 2019. Filed under Local News, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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