Making Iowa Future Ready
Governor Kim Reynolds recently announced $16 million in new funding for the Future Ready Iowa initiative, which will provide opportunities to Iowans to get the education and training beyond high school required for high-demand jobs in a dynamic, technology-driven economy.
Strengthening Iowa’s workforce through these programs also will help employers hire the skilled workers they need to grow and innovate. Future Ready Iowa has set the goal of having 70 percent of the state’s workforce with education or training beyond high school by the year 2025.
The new funding will help make this goal a reality with the following programs:
- Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship Program
The Last-Dollar Scholarship Program will help Iowans achieve education or training (up to a two-year degree) that leads to designated high-demand jobs. The scholarship covers tuition – after applying non-repayable federal and state financial aid – for Iowans who enroll in designated programs of study. This effort is focused on getting more Iowans into great jobs (starting at a minimum $14 per hour), meeting the needs of Iowa employers and growing Iowa’s economy.
- Future Ready Iowa Grant Program
The Future Ready Iowa Grant Program provides a stipend to Iowans who have earned at least two years or more toward a four-year degree and return to complete a degree in a field leading to a designated high-demand job. Recipients must not have attended college in the last 24 months. The stipend will be at least $1,000 annually for full-time students up to two years. Iowa is experiencing employee shortages in occupations requiring a bachelor’s degree.
- Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund
The Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund will help employers and other community partners strengthen and develop regional talent by providing state matching dollars for local investments. The grants will expand opportunities for more Iowans to earn for-credit and non-credit postsecondary credentials leading to high-demand jobs. That may include short-term credentials that do not qualify for the Last-Dollar Scholarship Program.
Learn more about Future Ready Iowa at the website, futurereadyiowa.gov.