Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds & Director Townsend Highlight Apprenticeship Appreciation and Awareness Week - Events planned throughout Iowa Nov. 14-20, 2016

DES MOINES – Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, and Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend encourage Iowans to explore registered apprenticeship opportunities, including those offered by Southwestern Community College's electrical technology program, during Registered Apprenticeship Appreciation and Awareness Week, November 14-20, 2016.

Branstad signed a proclamation on Nov. 10, 2016, to celebrate Iowa’s growing registered apprenticeship field. Iowa’s registered apprenticeship recognition coincides with the national designation.

“Iowa has developed a robust and sustainable apprenticeship program since the enactment of the Iowa Apprenticeship Act of 2014, and we remain committed to further growth,” said Branstad. “Work based learning, and apprenticeships in particular, have been identified as a key strategy to help us achieve our Future Ready Iowa goal of having 70 percent of Iowans in the workforce have education and training beyond high school by 2025.”

The Iowa Apprenticeship and Job Training Act expanded access to registered apprenticeship training programs in Iowa by tripling the funding, from $1 million to $3 million, for registered apprenticeships and reforming and streamlining the program. In the past year, Iowa has expanded its apprenticeships by 32 percent. Registered apprenticeship opportunities continue to include the traditional trades and are growing to include non-traditional industries such as information technology, business services, finance industries, transportation, advanced manufacturing and healthcare.

Iowa’s efforts to grow its registered apprenticeship program recently received a boost when the United States Department of Labor announced on Oct. 21 that Iowa received a $1.8 million grant to increase access to registered apprenticeships.

Reynolds said apprenticeships are a win-win solution for employers and job seekers. As part of National Apprenticeship Week, Reynolds will tour the Anamosa State Penitentiary apprenticeship programs and address the staff on Nov. 15. The Iowa Department of Corrections offers apprenticeship programs at its correctional facilities to help offenders build vocational skills that will allow them to become employable upon re-entry.

“Apprenticeships open the doors for rewarding careers where people are learning on the job and earning a paycheck,” Reynolds said. “I’m excited to help further promote apprenticeships in Iowa and to celebrate the successes we’ve experienced. I’m also very proud of the apprenticeship training we’re providing in our correctional facilities. The training received while incarcerated will lead to a productive life after being released from prison.”

Townsend said registered apprenticeships are a key workforce strategy to help meet the skills gap in Iowa.

“Middle-skill jobs are our biggest segment of jobs in Iowa – jobs that require more than a high school degree but less than a bachelor’s degree,” Townsend said. “Fifty-three percent of jobs fall into the middle-skill category but right now, only 34 percent of the workers have the skills. We need to help low-skill workers expand and learn the skills to fill these middle-skills jobs. Apprenticeships are a winning solution for both employers and workers.”

Townsend said Iowa Workforce Development is working to attract more minorities to pursue registered apprenticeship careers, including women, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and refugees as well as individuals with disabilities. The newly awarded grant will help Iowa in these efforts.

“I encourage all Iowans who are exploring career options to look at registered apprenticeship opportunities,” Townsend said. “Apprenticeships lead to well-paying careers and provide a path for advancement.”

The United States currently has approximately 375,000 apprentices working with more than 150,000 employers. Last year, President Obama established a goal of doubling the number of apprentices within five years.

Iowa is on target to meet the president’s goal. Currently, more than 8,100 Iowans are working in registered apprenticeship programs statewide. Iowa has added about 100 registered apprenticeship programs each year for the past three fiscal years.

As part of Registered Apprenticeship Appreciation and Awareness Week, Iowa Workforce Development has collaborated with community colleges, companies and other organizations to help coordinate and promote registered apprenticeship events across Iowa. In addition, the Iowa Department of Corrections is holding apprenticeship events at six of its correctional facilities. Visit for a full list of activities in Iowa during National Apprenticeship Week.


Event:    Celebrating Apprenticeship Week – Open House 2016
Date:    Tuesday, Nov. 15
Time:    11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Location:    IowaWORKS, 1000 North Roosevelt Ave., Burlington
Details:    An open house at the IowaWORKS one-stop center for businesses and customers. Interactive displays highlighting apprenticeship opportunities in high demand occupations in Southeast Iowa. Local employers with registered apprenticeship opportunities will share information for job seekers and core partners will provide details about pre-apprenticeship pathways. There will be tours of the center and information about services provided.


Event:    Apprenticeship/Career Pathways Lunch and Learn
Date:    Tuesday, Nov. 15
Time:    11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location:    Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC), 1625 Hwy 150 South, Calmar
Details:    Lunch and speaker, inviting high school counselors and administrators, in partnership with NICC, who is providing food.


Event:    Apprenticeships: Closing the Skills Gap
Date:    Tuesday, Nov. 15
Time:    8:45-10:45 a.m.
Location:    Santa Maria Winery, 218 W. 6th St., Carroll
Details:    Richard Madden, Apprenticeship and Training Representative, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship, will present information to local employers on how apprenticeships are a cost-effective, time-tested training strategy.

Cedar Rapids

Event:    Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 2016
Date:    Tuesday, Nov. 15
Time:    Noon-2 p.m. (box lunch provided)
Location:    IowaWORKS, 4444 1st Ave. NE, Ste. 436, Cedar Rapids
Details:    Panel discussion with two apprenticeship employers, Myron Dorsey from LS Nexus and Katie Homewood from Homewood Electric; two apprenticeship employees, Amanda Kistner and Jason Burge; Cedar Rapids Community School rep Tara McLaughlin; Jill Lippincott from the Iowa Economic Development Authority; and Mike Rose from Iowa Workforce Development . The panel discussion is followed by and an information session for job seekers interested in apprenticeship and a tour of the IowaWORKS office.

Council Bluffs

Event:   Employers Council of Iowa - Registered Apprenticeships
Date:    Tuesday, Nov. 15
Time:    1 p.m.
Location: Iowa School for the Deaf, 3501 Harry Langdon Blvd., Council Bluffs
Details:    A presentation for employers and community members to understand the value and impact of apprenticeships and the resources available to start them. Richard Madden, Apprenticeship and Training Representative, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship will be speaking and there will be staff from Iowa Workforce Development discussing the Job Driven - National Emergency Grant (JD-NEG).


Event:    Celebrating Apprenticeship Week – Connecting Iowa Businesses 2016
Date:    Thursday, Nov. 17
Time:    9-11 a.m.
Location:    Eastern Iowa Community College, West Davenport Center, 2950 Fairmont St., Davenport
Details:    An event for local Eastern Iowa businesses to learn more about Registered Apprenticeships. Robert Snyder, Apprenticeship and Training Representative, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship; Brad Scott with Eastern Iowa Community College’s nationally recognized Culinary Apprenticeship program and other local apprenticeship employers will share information about developing skilled talent through registered apprenticeships.

Des Moines

Event:    Lunch and Learn Apprenticeship Day
Date:    Thursday, Nov. 17
Time:    11 a.m.
Location:    IowaWORKS, 430 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines
Details:    Learn how the apprenticeship program works and explore requirements and benefits of becoming an officially registered apprentice. Employers will be able to sign up to participate in the apprenticeship program and learn about potential funding available.

Fort Dodge

Event:    ECI Employer Workshop, “How Apprenticeships Can Benefit Your Business”
Date:    Thursday, Nov. 17
Time:    9-11 a.m.
Location:    IowaWORKS, 3 Triton Circle, Fort Dodge
Details:    Presenter is Richard Madden, Apprenticeship and Training Representative, with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship in Des Moines.  Employers will learn how Registered Apprenticeships can save them time and money while filling their workforce needs.

Event:    Apprenticeship Exploration Workshop for Job Seekers 
Date: Friday, Nov. 18
Time:    10-11:30 a.m.
Location:    IowaWORKS, 3 Triton Circle, Fort Dodge
Details: Apprenticeship Informational Display will be set up in the office all week. At the end of the week, job seekers interested in learning more about Registered Apprenticeships can attend the workshop to learn more about these opportunities.


Event:    Youth Apprenticeship Tour
Date:    Tuesday, Nov. 15
Time:    10 a.m.
Location:    Gilbert Home Comfort, 19563 U.S. Hwy 69 N, Leon
Details:    Local high school students are invited to spend the morning at Gilbert's Home Comfort, a company which is operating a thriving apprenticeship program in southern Iowa. Students will tour the facilities and speak with current apprentices, managers, and experts in the field of HVAC. Hands-on activities and lunch will be provided.

Mason City

Event:    Registered Apprenticeship Recognition/Panel Discussion
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 15
Time:    3 p.m.
Location:    Mason City Chamber of Commerce, 9 N Federal
Details:    John Carr and Heather Garcia, Iowa Statewide Apprenticeship Grant Co-Coordinators and Tyler Wyngarden, Director of Talent Development for Technology Association of Iowa will be in attendance. Individuals invited are businesses interested in developing registered apprenticeships, current sponsors, education leaders, and elected officials.


Event:    Apprenticeship 101: Introducing Employers to Apprenticeships
Date:    Wednesday, Nov. 16
Time:    10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Location:    IowaWORKS, 15260 Truman St., Indian Hills Community College North Campus, Ottumwa
Details:    This event is geared toward educating employers about apprenticeships. Guest speaker is Jim Wightman from the Department of Labor apprenticeship office. There also will be a presentation from a representative from Indian Hill Community College, which recently became certified as a training provider for HVAC apprenticeships. Other activities include an employer panel who will share their experiences with apprenticeships. Lunch will be provided.


Event:    Apprenticeship/Career Pathways Lunch and Learn
Date:    Monday, Nov. 14
Time:    11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location:    Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC), 8342 NICC Drive, Peosta
Details:    Lunch and speaker, inviting high school counselors and administrators, in partnership with NICC, who is providing food.


Event:    Apprenticeship Open House
Date:    Wednesday, Nov. 16
Time:    1-3 p.m.
Location:    Northwestern Iowa Community College (NCC), 603 W. Park St., Sheldon
Details:    As part of National Apprenticeship Week, this event will feature a presentation from Richard Madden, Apprenticeship and Training Representative from U.S. Department of Labor and Frank DeMilia, Dean of Workforce at NCC, will talk about how NCC can partner with businesses for the classroom component of the apprenticeship program. Christine Therkildgen from Midwest Mechanical, a successful Registered Apprenticeship sponsor, will also speak. The event is free and open to the public and business community.

Sioux City

Event:    Apprenticeship Presentation
Date:    Wednesday, Nov. 16
Time:    9-11 a.m.
Location:    Western Iowa Tech Community College, 4647 Stone Ave., Sioux City
Details:    Jon Murad, Business Services Representative, IowaWORKS, will provide a brief overview about apprenticeships. Included will be a discussion about transitioning into Registered Apprenticeships.


Event:    Lunch and Learn: Apprenticeships
Date:    Tuesday, Nov. 15
Time:    11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (panel discussion first hour followed by lunch)
Location:    Hawkeye Community College (Buchanan Hall, Advanced Technology and Business Center, Room 121), 1501 East Orange Rd., Waterloo
Details:    Panel discussion facilitated by Bob Snyder, Apprenticeship and Training Representative, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship, who will also make a presentation. Panel participants include John Johnson, Workforce Development Specialist for IowaWORKS Cedar Valley; Josh Billings, Level 4 HVAC apprentice with Independence Plumbing, Heating and Cooling; Rachel Faust, Vice President, RainSoft/RWDB member; Jerry Orr, Trade and Industry Coordinator, Hawkeye Community College; and Rhonda Hall, Business Services Representative, IowaWORKS Cedar Valley.