Iowa governor proposes $18 million for worker training

Gov. Kim Reynolds

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Kim Reynolds wants to spend about $18 million on worker training programs in the next couple years to ensure Iowa employers can fill jobs at a time of low unemployment.

The Des Moines Register reports that Reynolds announced new policies to address Iowa’s shortage of qualified workers in her Condition of the State address on Jan. 8.

The governor proposed expanding the state’s apprenticeship program and creating a scholarship for residents who pursue up to a two-year degree in a high-demand field. Reynolds also recommended an Employer Innovation Fund to match private sector spending on training programs.

Iowa had a 2.9 percent unemployment rate in November, below the national rate of 4.1 percent. Employers consistently express concern over being unable to find qualified workers for job openings.

Legislation is still being drafted.