Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, along with Iowa Business Council (IBC) Chairman and Ruan Transportation Management Systems CEO Ben McLean, announced that the Iowa Business Council’s members have pledged to hire 30,000 interns, externs and apprentices by the year 2025. The pledge is part of the council’s commitment to collaborate with state government to strengthen Iowa’s talent pipeline.

“As I travel across the state visiting all 99 counties, I consistently hear the same thing from employers,” Gov. Reynolds said. “They’re ready to hire even more Iowans, but they can’t find workers with the skills needed to fill the openings.”

Understanding that careers require advanced skills and experience, the state launched the Future Ready Iowa initiative. The goal of Future Ready Iowa is for 70 percent of Iowans ages 25-64 to have education or training beyond high school by the year 2025.

The Future Ready Iowa Alliance announced its recommendations to reach that goal in October 2017. One of those recommendations is to expand work-based learning in high-demand careers to all students, especially those who might be underserved.  

“As I’ve said from the beginning of this effort, we know government alone can’t solve this challenge facing our state,” Gov. Reynolds said. “It will take an even stronger public-private partnership between business and nonprofit leaders, educators, community advocates and lawmakers to build on the good work already underway. I’m encouraged that key stakeholders are uniting around the efforts to address this challenge.”

“Because the Iowa Business Council’s members have a presence in local communities throughout the state, this announcement will help us reach Iowans from border to border,” Lt. Gov. Gregg said. “That makes their pledge especially significant.”

The Iowa Business Council will track the hires internally through quarterly reporting by its members. The effort will begin in the first quarter of 2018. The internships, externships and apprenticeships will offer Iowans the ability to gain hands on experience in career fields.

“Since the Iowa Business Council’s inception, we’ve worked collaboratively with elected officials and leaders to increase Iowa’s economic vitality,” McLean said. “It came as no surprise when our organization’s ‘Iowa Competitiveness Index’ identified workforce readiness and training as a critical need for our state. The Iowa Business Council’s members believe that we play a vital role in addressing this challenge, which is why we were pleased to not just stand in support of the Future Ready Iowa Alliance, but to actually offer a commitment to help meet its goals.”