Governor Kim Reynolds announced the first 13 recipients of the new Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund, a matching grant designed to help employers carry out solutions to help their employees achieve postsecondary training and education. The first round of Employer Innovation Fund Grants will distribute over $400,000 in funds to employers across the state.

“The Employer Innovation Fund drives innovation in meeting the workforce challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Gov. Reynolds. “These public-private partnerships address barriers for Iowans looking to get the training they need for a life-changing career. The collaboration happening at the grassroots level serves as a catalyst for Future Ready Iowa’s continued success.

The purpose of the grant is to provide opportunities for working Iowans to earn non-credit and for-credit postsecondary credentials leading to high-demand jobs in the state. Employers, community leaders and others can apply by submitting a proposal for implementing a creative solution to their local workforce needs.

“Employers are a critical part of reaching our Future Ready Iowa goal of having 70 percent of Iowans with postsecondary credentials by 2025,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development. “The Employer Innovation Fund is unique because it empowers employers to find creative ways to strengthen their local workforce and build upon Iowa’s talent pipeline.”

Employer Innovation Fund Recipients include The Well.

The Well is a non-profit organization based in Pella and Knoxville. Key partners include: LDJ and Vermeer who provide manufacturing contracts to The Well that enable relevant training for Well employees.

Well Works is a program that employs and supports people who have previously struggled maintaining a job which happens for many different reasons. Through an 18-month process of employment and education individuals who face significant barriers to successful employment are supported to success defined as graduating from the program, moving to stable employment and financial independence off of taxpayer funded programs.

Well Works expands opportunities for their employees to finish education they never finished, and receive certifications and program support for areas where they have struggled to include finances, substance abuse and education. Well Works specifically supports obtaining work in high-demand fields that include advanced manufacturing production, installation, maintenance and carpentry. This program would provide opportunity for 20 individuals.

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