State grants go to four community colleges to support career academies • Iowa Capital Dispatch

In a move to strengthen Iowa’s workforce and provide students with in-demand skills, the state has awarded grants to four community colleges to support the development of career academies. The grants, totaling $1.2 million, will enable the colleges to create innovative programs that prepare students for high-growth industries and address the state’s workforce needs.

The four community colleges receiving the grants are Des Moines Area Community College, Eastern Iowa Community College, Hawkeye Community College, and Iowa Central Community College. Each college will use the funding to establish or expand career academies in areas such as advanced manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, and transportation.

The career academies will provide students with hands-on training, industry-recognized certifications, and opportunities to gain work experience through internships and apprenticeships. The programs will also foster partnerships between the colleges and local businesses, ensuring that students are equipped with the skills and knowledge that employers need.

The grants are part of the state’s effort to address Iowa’s workforce shortage, particularly in high-demand fields. According to the Iowa Workforce Development, the state faces a shortage of skilled workers in areas such as healthcare, technology, and advanced manufacturing. By supporting career academies, the state aims to increase the number of skilled workers entering the workforce and meet the needs of Iowa’s employers.

“We are thrilled to support these community colleges in their efforts to provide students with the skills and training they need to succeed in high-demand careers,” said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. “These grants will help us build a stronger, more competitive workforce and drive economic growth in our state.”

The grants will also enable the colleges to provide support services to students, including mentorship, tutoring, and career counseling. By providing a comprehensive approach to career training, the colleges aim to increase student success and retention rates, particularly among underrepresented groups.

The establishment of career academies at these four community colleges is a significant step forward in Iowa’s efforts to develop a skilled and competitive workforce. By investing in these programs, the state is ensuring that students have access to the training and education they need to succeed in high-demand careers and drive economic growth in Iowa.

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