Ensuring Iowa's Economic Prosperity

Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge in Des Moines at dusk

The key to Iowa’s continued economic growth and prosperity is a strong and highly-skilled workforce. Governor Reynolds has a record of aggressive workforce policy initiatives and has also passed significant professional licensing reforms, removing barriers that keep people from jobs. She also recognizes the state’s need for affordable housing to enable families to live in communities where they work, and more child care options that allow parents the freedom to enter and remain in the workforce.

In 2021, the Governor’s priorities include legislation and programs that will ensure economic prosperity for all Iowans.

Innovating Iowa’s Workforce

Iowa has more job openings available than people trained to fill them. Governor Reynolds has prioritized education and training from our schools to the workplace so that Iowans are prepared for the high-demand jobs that drive our state’s economy.

  • Future Ready Iowa is working to ensure 70% of Iowans achieve training or education beyond high school by 2025. This year, the Governor proposes to increase the state’s investment in scholarships and grants that create pathways to careers.
  • Work-based learning provides students with real-life, professional experiences allowing them to test drive careers and build skills for the workplace. The Governor is prosing a plan so that 75% of Iowa school districts will have one or more school-business partnerships by 2023, and all high school students will participate in work-based learning by 2024.
  • In 2020, the Governor passed significant professional licensing reform making Iowa’s licensing reciprocity and recognition laws the most flexible in the country, and continues to build on these efforts this year.

Read more about Governor Reynolds’ workforce priorities here.

Expanding Housing Opportunities

Housing is the single-most significant opportunity for rapid economic recovery for families and communities. Iowa is projected to gain 47,000 more households by 2030, but most first address an aging housing inventory and lack of affordable housing options for low-income Iowans.

In 2021, Governor Reynolds is proposing a comprehensive housing plan that offers innovative solutions to bolster supply and provide financial assistance. 

Read more about how Governor Reynolds’ proposes expand housing opportunities for Iowans here.

Confronting Iowa’s Child Care Crisis

Iowa has more households with all parents working than any other state in the country, but too few options for child care. Over the past five years, Iowa has lost 33% of its child care businesses and is short 350,000 slots for children younger than 12 years old. This crisis hurts more than Iowa families. It also costs the state close to a billion dollars each year in lost tax revenue and employee absences.

Read more about the Governor’s plan to make child care more accessible and affordable here

Governor’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board

Iowa’s economic recovery plan is about more than yesterday’s goals. It’s a new opportunity to build a better Iowa, elevate how we do business, modernize how we work and learn, and further improve our quality of life. 

On June 18, 2020, Gov. Reynolds signed an Executive Order establishing the Governor’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board to assess the economic impact of COVID-19 on Iowa’s industries, businesses and workforce, analyze recovery efforts, and recommend strategies that ensure the future prosperity of our state for all Iowans.

Read more about the Governor’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board here.