The grants will help power Iowa’s economic recovery by incentivizing creation and expansion of Registered Apprenticeship programs with emphasis on recruiting individuals affected by the pandemic.
DES MOINES – Governor Reynolds announced two new Registered Apprenticeship grant opportunities totaling $10 million funded by the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Registered Apprenticeships provide training in an “earn and learn” model that helps employers create the workforce they need. They are an employer-driven model, combining on-the-job learning with related classroom instruction, providing the Apprentice with a nationally recognized credential and employers with a skilled worker at the end of the program.
“Iowa is a national leader in using Registered Apprenticeships to help close the current skills gap and address workforce barriers,” said Gov. Reynolds. “These opportunities will help Iowans most impacted by the pandemic and it’s another way we are leveraging all local, state, and federal resources to recover and grow from COVID19. The grants announced today also further develop the strong, innovative partnerships that exist between post-secondary institutions and our local employers.”
The first grant opportunity is available to high schools, nonprofits, and small businesses with less than 50 employees. These grants total $5 million, with a maximum award of $50,000 per applicant. The second grant opportunity is available to post-secondary institutions or healthcare employers. These grants also total $5 million, with a maximum award of $250,000 per applicant. Both grants can be used to purchase equipment, tools, simulators, instructional materials, updated curriculum, or other necessary items to expand or create Registered Apprenticeship programs that provide for online learning as well as hands-on learning when necessary and safe. Priority is given to programs targeting individuals whose employment has been adversely affected by the pandemic.
“The Coronavirus Relief Fund Registered Apprenticeship Expansion grants will help increase the number of Registered Apprenticeship programs where they are most needed, in our high schools, small businesses, nonprofits and in our healthcare industry whose workforce has been so hard hit by the pandemic,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development. “These two new grants will provide critical funding as we build on the Registered Apprenticeship opportunities that exist right now, but also incentivize creating new programs in our high schools, nonprofits, and small businesses.”
Grant applications must be tied to an existing Registered Apprenticeship program or commit to starting a new program no later than December 31, 2020. Applicants for both grant opportunities must also certify an intention to recruit from individuals who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, minority or underrepresented communities, veterans, and the disabled.
Visit earnandlearniowa.gov to further explore Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in Iowa.