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Reynolds Kicks Off Apprenticeship Week at Van Wall Equipment
Iowa Ag Connection - 11/06/2019

Gov. Kim Reynolds visited Van Wall Equipment in Nevada to highlight their new Farm Equipment Mechanic Registered Apprenticeship program and celebrate Registered Apprenticeship Appreciation and Awareness Week. Gov. Reynolds also signed a proclamation, recognizing the value of Registered Apprenticeship training and promoting expansion of these opportunities within the state.

Iowans are encouraged to explore the benefits of Registered Apprenticeship during the week, which runs Nov. 11-17. Special events across Iowa will highlight different types of programs, public-private partnerships, new facilities and unique community outreach efforts.

"In Iowa we have jobs looking for people, and Registered Apprenticeships are a proven solution to expand economic opportunities for Iowans," said Reynolds. "These programs are a mechanism to recruit and train the skilled workers our employers so desperately need. Registered Apprenticeships also strengthen our communities, giving residents a sense of pride and personal investment in their city or town."

Van Wall Equipment launched its Registered Apprenticeship program with support from the Registered Apprenticeship Development Fund, or 15C, which was created by the 2018 Future Ready Iowa Act. The Fund is administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and provides up to $1 million in grants for small to midsize companies, like family-owned Van Wall, starting new Registered Apprenticeship Programs in high-demand occupations.

"Iowa companies like Van Wall recognize that Registered Apprenticeships are a win-win," Reynolds continued. "The earn and learn model benefits both apprentices, who on average make more than $60,000 after completing their program, and employers, who are developing their future workforce."

The 15C funding is in addition to $3 million in annual funding available through the Iowa Apprenticeship Act (15B), which also is administered by the IEDA. The 15B program helps defray ongoing Registered Apprenticeship training costs and in FY2019, provided support for programs serving more than 5,900 Iowa apprentices.

Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) also has partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to leverage $3.1 million in ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grants since 2016 to increase Registered Apprenticeship programs in Iowa. Organizations creating a new program or adding another occupation in certain industries can receive an incentive of $350 per Registered Apprentice or $500 per Registered Apprentice who qualifies as an underrepresented population (women, minorities, veteran, youth or people with disabilities).

As of Oct. 30, Iowa had 747 active Registered Apprenticeship Programs and more than 7,600 Registered Apprentices. In just the past year, Iowa has registered 102 new programs, and is outpacing the number of active apprentices compared to states with more than three times the population. This momentum contributes to the Future Ready Iowa goal, which calls for 70 percent of Iowa's workforce to have education or training beyond high school by 2025.

Information about Registered Apprenticeships in Iowa is available at www.earnandlearniowa.gov. The website serves the needs of both job seekers and employers, who can fill out a form to be contacted to learn more.

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