Earlier this year the Reynolds’ Administration awarded another $1.4 million in grants to employers and partner organizations launching projects that provide training and post-secondary education to employees. These “Employer Innovation Fund” grants allow for employers and community leaders to come up with innovative solutions to meet workforce needs through talent development.
The Employer Innovation Fund is a part of the state’s Future Ready Iowa program that’s been in existence since 2014. Future Ready Iowa aims to see 70% of Iowans have post-secondary training or education by 2025. This has been a top priority in the Economic Alliance’s advocacy efforts. In addition, our team offers guidance to Economic Alliance members seeking these funds and encourage all to explore this opportunity. Award amounts can range from $1,000 to $50,000.
“Future Ready Iowa aims to see 70% of Iowans have post-secondary training or education by 2025. This has been a top priority in the Economic Alliance’s advocacy efforts.”
A few highlights from the most recent round of awards went to supporting tuition for upskilling workers and customizing training at Crystal Group in Hiawatha. This included computer hardware and software training, soldering of motherboards, and other topics not available through area colleges. Another award went to Cedar Rapids’ Four Oaks Family and Children’s Services for their Total Child Workforce program including a six-week training for participants in a workforce readiness program and up to 2 and 4-year degrees in high demand occupations. Another Cedar Rapids company, Involta, LLC, was awarded funding to partner with DeltaV Code School, a program run by the New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative (NewBoCo), to provide funding for tuition and supplies to train Iowans with no previous IT experience to become Help Desk Administrators employed by Involta.