BY Kim Didier IIG Board Member Recently, the state of Iowa and the counties that comprise the Iowa Innovation Gateway region have been experiencing a decline in the unemployment rate. In fact, for several of the existing companies in the IIG region, they are rapidly expanding employment opportunities. The challenge at hand is to find a skilled and ready workforce to fill these openings. Many of those in the workforce now are not adequately skilled to fill these open positions. To address this challenge, the Iowa Innovation Gateway is participating in a pilot project with the Central Iowa Workforce Investment Board to become a Certified Work Ready Region focused on the advanced manufacturing sector. This designation would help the IIG region identify skill gaps in the workforce and address training needs ultimately leading to the ability to demonstrate that the communities within the region have an existing labor force which can fill existing job vacancies and meet changing business needs. The Certified Work Ready Region pilot is modeled after similar efforts in Georgia and Oklahoma. Marion and Jasper counties are the first two counties of the IIG region working toward the Certification designation by targeting these goals: 85% of high schools . . . → Read More: IIG Leaders Working to Certify Local Counties as “Work Ready”
Iowa Innovation Gateway hosted Emily DeRocco and her team from the Manufacturing Institute for a series of events and meetings this month to discuss the implementation of the National Association of Manufacturers-Endorsed Skills Certification System. According to the Manufacturing institute, “Access to talented individuals with high-quality education and advanced skills is critical to manufacturers' capacity for innovation and business success. Companies continue to report they cannot find individuals with the skills required for today's advanced manufacturing workplaces.” On January 11, Emily DeRocco addressed the Iowa Association of Business and Industry board and asked them to use the Skills Certification System in their hiring processes. The team also met with the Central Iowa Works Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Partnership and explained to them what the Skills Certification System could do for them. The next day, at Accu-mold in Ankeny, Emily and her team provided a day of technical assistance to community college representatives from across the state on how to integrate the Skills Certification System into what they are already doing. Community college representatives were able to share what they are currently offering for those seeking certification in advanced manufacturing skills and what their next steps in this process will be. Further events are being planned . . . → Read More: IIG Hosts Emily DeRocco and Team from The Manufacturing Institute
(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today released their final recommendations for restoring Iowa’s standing as a leader in education and preparing all students to compete for jobs in a global economy.
The document represents an overview of proposed education legislation that will be presented by the Governor and Lt. Governor in the 2012 session.
The recommendations stay true to three key areas outlined in a blueprint for education reform released by the Branstad-Reynolds administration in October: highly effective teachers and leaders, high expectations for all students with fair measures for results, and innovation that boosts learning.
“Iowans have played a critical role as we’ve worked to elevate the conversation about improving our schools,” Branstad said. “These proposals will put us on the path to make Iowa schools among the best in the world.”
World-class schools are one of four top priorities set by Branstad and Reynolds. The administration has worked for the past year to carve out a long-term, reform-minded policy direction that builds from Iowa’s strengths and adopts improvements with lessons learned from the highest-performing systems in the world.
In July, the Branstad-Reynolds administration convened . . . → Read More: Administration unveils final recommendations for world-class schools
From the Business Record:
BY JOE GARDYASZ Senior Staff Writer
An estimated 5 percent of U.S. manufacturing positions go unfilled because companies can't find workers with the necessary skills. To address this so-called skills gap in the state, the Iowa Innovation Gateway, an economic development collaboration of seven Central Iowa counties, has partnered with the Manufacturing Institute and the Lumina Foundation to bring a new national skills certification program to Iowa. On Jan. 12, officials with the Manufacturing Institute, an arm of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), will meet with representatives from Iowa community colleges at Accumold LLC in Ankeny to discuss how to implement the Manufacturing Skills Certification System. "The goal of the meeting is to provide technical assistance to the community college system about implementing the certification system," said Denise Rathman, executive director of the Iowa Innovation Gateway, whose goals include developing a regional talent development system for Central Iowa. Iowa is among 10 states that received a $10,000 planning grant from the Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based foundation focused on expanding access to higher education, to help launch the training program. The state is seeking funding from the U.S. Department of Labor . . . → Read More: IIG Leads Intiative to Address Iowa’s Manufacturing Skills Gap