October 30, 2020

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Iowa looks to close job skills gap

2 min read
State officials continue to look for ways to prepare more workers for skilled jobs. ©...

State officials continue to look for ways to prepare more workers for skilled jobs.



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“You have a lot of individuals who fit that low skilled workforce and a lot of the needs are in the middle skilled workforce,” Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce President Drew Kamp said. “As we go and talk to employers, they’re always having issues with workforce development. That piece that is the toughest part is upscaling people. It’s that gap between the low skill and medium skill and how do you bring those people along to fill those positions.”

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KMTV reports there are about 1,100 jobs posted online in Council Bluffs and another 500 on the Iowa-Works page, prompting Kamp to suggest people consider a jobs training program such as the one offered at nearby Iowa Western Community college.

“Apprenticeships are another piece, where you have to meet certain parameters the state provides, but then you can get some training to get some training in a specific industry or sector,” he said. “Those are things that are really important right now and the state is throwing a lot of support behind.”

Recently, Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Economic Recovery Advisory Board tackled the issue, with board member A.J. Loss said the panel would like to increase the catalog of online training programs by 50-percent over the next three years. In addition, the number of people getting a post-secondary education ideally would also increase.

“The goal would be that 70% of folks in Iowa would have post-secondary education attainment by the year 2025,” he said. “And that we would reduce the state’s unemployment rate by 3% because we are really putting to work those low skill employees with education and training that’s provided to them or maybe they don’t even know exists.”

Tags: States, News, Iowa, Jobs

Original Author: The Center Square

Original Location: Iowa looks to close job skills gap

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