(The Center Square) – Iowa Workforce Development has awarded a total of $3.6 million to dozens of the state’s registered apprenticeship programs.
Iowans support these programs through the Iowa Apprenticeship Act (15B) and the Iowa Registered Apprenticeship Development Fund (15C). The Iowa Apprenticeship Act allots $3 million annually to support training and ongoing costs of Iowa Registered Apprenticeship programs. The latter fund provides $760,000 annually for programs that have launched new programs in high-demand occupations.
This year, 31 programs received Iowa Apprenticeship Act funds and 57 received Iowa Registered Apprenticeship Development Fund monies, IWD said in its Wednesday news release about the funds.
The Iowa Apprenticeship Act’s funding supports 5,891 apprentices this year with $2.94 million in awards. They included 1,346 at construction trade association ABC of Iowa ($671,743.34), 452 at Des Moines Electricians, which received $225,578; and 369 at Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 33 ($184,155.49). Other programs with more than 200 apprentices are Iowa Department of Corrections ($169,183.50), Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 33 ($184,155.49), Hawkeye Community College ($176,669.50), MidAmerican Energy ($123,269.39), UnityPoint ($105,802.07), Plumbing Heating & Cooling Contractors ($115,783.40) and Central Western Iowa ($102,208.61).
The funding available in the grant, which helps pay program costs, is based on proportionate share of the statewide total of qualified registered apprentices participating in qualified programs. Grants received are based on contact hours, or apprentices and Related Technical Instruction hours of instructing apprentices for the most recent training year. Only registered apprentices who live in Iowa can be counted. Programs must provide at least 100 in-person contact hours to qualify.
Applicants for the Iowa Registered Apprenticeship Development Fund, on the other hand, can receive up to $25,000 per application per eligible occupation. The program must have no more than 20 registered apprenticeships. Seventy percent of the apprentices must live in Iowa. The rest can live in states adjoining to Iowa.
This year’s funding supports 66 apprentices. Eleven of them are apprentices at Sinclair Tractor AG, and 12 are at Area Substance Abuse Council. There were also apprentices at companies including Callaway Mechanical, Woodbine Community Schools, Manatt’s and Northeast Iowa.
Recipients of both funds declare to IEDA their program expenses and can be reimbursed up to that amount.
In fiscal year 2021, Iowa’s growth in registered apprenticeship programs broke records, the release said. Programs added 51 new occupations, 4,515 apprentices and 197 programs, the third highest number of new programs in the nation, it said.
“Iowa continues to lead by expanding the earn while you learn model to more occupations, high school students, and employers who collectively are building a stronger, more prepared workforce that our state needs for the future,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in the release.
Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said the programs continue to be one of the most successful tools for workforce.
“We are committed to expanding and supporting these programs that are already creating long-term pipelines for Iowa,” she said.
Iowa Economic Development Authority used to oversee the funding, until IWD took control of it to streamline state support through providing a central point of contact for the opportunities, the release said.
To learn more about the programs and funding, visit earnandlearniowa.gov/funding.