Gregory, SEIRPC each get $100K in state grants

BY PCC STAFF

DES MOINES – Gregory Design and Manufacturing and Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission were both awarded close to $100,000 each from a state innovation fund on Wednesday.

Governor Kim Reynolds announced awards to 65 applicants for the Coronavirus Relief Fund Employer Innovation Fund Grant. The program will assist local employers, non-profits, community colleges, high schools, private universities, and the University of Iowa provide postsecondary training and education to Iowans whose employment has been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Gregory Design and Manufacturing was awarded $99,909 towards a goal of training 44 people with a 4-week weld training program geared toward well-rounded production welding. Gregory intends to partner with the Burlington Residential Correctional Facility to recruit participants and hopes to hire completers.

Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission based in West Burlington received $99,997.50 to help with offender training in the Homes for Iowa program.

The pandemic has significantly impacted incarcerated men due to the reduction and elimination of training programs within facilities. Without training, re-entry prospects are limited.

Homes for Iowa Inc. will facilitate this project to train 25 men in OSHA 10 and construction. The program will provide equipment, worksite protective clothing and tools. Homes for Iowa works with employer partners to make job contacts and place trained individuals in high-demand construction jobs upon release. Award: $99,997.50

More than $4.3 million has been awarded to the winning projects. 

“Future Ready Iowa’s Employer Innovation Fund is centered around a grassroots effort to solve local workforce challenges while helping Iowans find economic opportunity in their community. The winning projects address barriers for Iowans who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic by providing training opportunities that will build on our economic recovery,” said Gov. Reynolds.

“These programs not only help those affected by the pandemic, they will also focus on recruiting our minority and underrepresented communities to help us diversify our workforce and provide equal chances of success for all Iowans.”

The Coronavirus Relief Fund Employer Innovation Fund grants can be used to cover the cost of training, books, and equipment as well as often providing much needed wrap-around support that address other barriers some Iowans face when trying to obtain skills training.

“Once again, employers, nonprofits and educators have come up with amazing and innovative solutions to help their fellow Iowans by creating training opportunities in high demand occupations,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development.  “From IT, healthcare, advanced manufacturing to first responders, these programs will help expand our skilled workforce, diversify our workplaces and help those most affected by the pandemic.” 

The Future Ready Iowa goal is to have 70 percent of Iowans in the workforce with education and training beyond high school by 2025.  Approximately 60 percent of Iowa’s current workforce meets this education and training criteria.  Visit www.FutureReadyIowa.gov for more information.

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