DES MOINES – On Dec. 3, Governor Kim Reynolds announced 22 recipients of the Employer Innovation Fund, including Central College.

The Employer Innovation Fund is a matching grant that helps employers provide postsecondary training and education opportunities for their employees.

Central College was awarded $27,500. The college will create and implement programming that supports traditional students seeking alternative career pathways to high-demand jobs. This program is designed to support the challenges young Iowans face transitioning into full-time employment and offers additional credit earning opportunities at the same time.

The second round of grants will distribute $568,000 to employers and employer consortiums across the state. A third round application period with $244,200 in remaining funds will open Dec. 3 and close Dec. 17.

“Future Ready Iowa provides Iowans with life-changing opportunities while simultaneously helping employers grow their local workforce talent pipeline,” said Reynolds. “The program’s Employer Innovation Fund fuels grassroots innovation, empowering Iowa businesses and communities to create solutions that help Iowans find a good-paying job in a high-demand career. We are excited about this program’s initial success and see even greater opportunities in the future.”

The purpose of the grant is to create more opportunities for working Iowans to earn non-credit and for-credit postsecondary credentials leading to high-demand jobs in the state. Employers, community leaders and others can apply by submitting a proposal for implementing a creative solution to their local workforce needs.

“Employers’ efforts to develop their own workforce through up-skilling, training and education programs, are key to help Iowa meet the 2025 goal of 70 percent of Iowans having postsecondary credentials,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development. “The Employer Innovation Fund is unique to Iowa and will help employers leverage their existing resources with a state match to upskill even more of their workforce. It also helps community organizations work with local employers to provide training dollars that also help develop a skilled workforce. We want to award all of the $1.2 million the legislature appropriated to the fund this year so we strongly encourage employers to apply for the third round of grants.”

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