Solving Iowa’s workforce shortages requires short and long-term solutions. Last year, Governor Reynolds introduced legislation to create two new high school Registered Apprenticeship programs (RAPs) that address some of Iowa’s most pressing needs.  

  • Another that helps students earn a CNA, qualify for entry-level clinical jobs, and continue training for other health care careers


Iowa is a national leader in its use of RAPs to build its workforce. Apprenticeships generate awareness of in-demand jobs, help people develop the skills they need to attain them, and create a talent pipeline for employers. Further expansion of these programs will attract new businesses and jobseekers to our state, making Iowa an employment destination. 

Governor Reynolds proposes: 

  • Expanding Iowa’s Health Careers Registered Apprenticeship program to include additional certifications. 

  • Establishing a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA) authorized by the US Department of Labor to register and oversee programs and agreements statewide. 


Iowa Health Careers Registered Apprenticeship Program 

Based on the early success of the program and the need for additional health care workers, total funding will be increased from $3 million to $15 million, and the program expanded to offer additional health care certifications addressing other critical needs across the state.  

  • Establish new or expand existing high school RAPs for nursing certifications including CNAs and LPNs with the potential of pursuing a RN. 

  • Establish collaborative, community-based emergency medical service RAPs that lead to EMR, EMT, and paramedic certificates. 

  • Create in-house related training instruction (RTI) programs that certify direct care professionals (Levels I, II and III) for employment in assisted living and nursing facilities, private homes, community-based services, and programs for people with disabilities. 

  • Incentivize behavioral health providers to create RAP pathways for community health workers, substance abuse counselors and behavioral health counselors. 


State Apprenticeship Agency 

Iowa can be more responsive to employers and better address their specific workforce needs by managing apprenticeship program agreements and oversight at the state level, rather than through the US Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship. 

  • Establish the Iowa Office of Apprenticeship within Iowa Workforce Development, leveraging existing staff to oversee program development, compliance, business engagement, and grant management. 

  • As required by USDOL, appoint a state-level advisory board which includes governor-appointed members from multiple industry sectors to ensure program performance and sustainability.