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Gov. Reynolds, Lt. Gov. Gregg announce Future Ready Iowa Alliance recommendations

October 18, 2017
Speical to The News-Herald , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

DES MOINES Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg announced new Future Ready Iowa Alliance recommendations Tuesday. The recommendations are a major step forward in achieving the Reynolds / Gregg administration's No. 1 goal: 70 percent of Iowa's workforce having education or training beyond high school by the year 2025. In order to achieve that goal, an additional 127,700 Iowans need to earn post-secondary degrees and other credentials.

The Alliance's first recommendation is to establish the Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship and Future Ready Iowa Grant Program. The scholarship will bridge the financial divide with money for Iowans seeking up to an associate degree at Iowa colleges and universities leading to high-demand jobs. The Future Ready Iowa Grant is for Iowans seeking a bachelor's degree who already have earned more than half the credits in a major leading to a high-demand job.

The Alliance's second recommendation is to better align and expand the existing ecosystem of support for Iowans who are beginning or returning to complete college or career training, whether they are brand new high school graduates or adults who want to upskill, with a focus on low-income Iowans and Iowans who are underrepresented minorities.

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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds

The Alliance's third recommendation is to expand high-quality work-based learning experiences in high-demand careers to all students, but particularly those who are underserved. This is an opportunity for employers to increase pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship and internship programs and make sure there is equity in access, both in urban and rural areas.

It is also an opportunity to expand the STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) program started by the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. Students explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers through hands-on, real-world projects designed by industry professionals and educators, with amazing opportunities to connect with their communities.

The Alliance's fourth recommendation is to identify early academic approaches that effectively prepare all students for a changing world. This could include expanding after-school programs for children.

The Alliance's fifth recommendation is to develop a grassroots strategy to engage the business community, regional workforce boards, STEM regions and other current and future regional collaborations. This will allow for the mapping of existing regional and local workforce partnership and filling any gaps existing within a community or region.



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