Central College is one of 13 recipients of the new Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund, a matching grant designed to help employers carry out solutions to help their employees achieve postsecondary education and training.
Central received the grant for the development of the Pella Talent Pipeline Apprenticeship School, a collaboration between the college, community and business partners to build a holistic apprenticeship experience while meeting the workforce needs of area employers. The apprenticeship school will provide core curriculum for high-demand occupations with the primary focus of providing wrap-around services, including mentorship, financial literacy, and character and leadership development, as well as a residential experience for individuals seeking apprenticeship opportunities after high school.
“The development of the apprenticeship school is a highly collaborative effort among business, industry and education to help meet local workforce needs under the umbrella of shared student experiences in a cohort setting,” says Mark Putnam, Central president.
The programs will guide students in a purposeful way from high school to adulthood and meaningful employment in the region. The leading supporters for the project include the Pella Area Community and Economic (PACE) Alliance, Pella Corporation, Precision Inc., Vermeer Corporation, Pella Community Schools, Career Academy of Pella and Des Moines Area Community College.
The integrated system will also provide opportunities for participants to earn stackable credentials, including an associate degree from DMACC.
The first round of Employer Innovation Fund Grants, announced by Gov. Kim Reynolds, will distribute more than $400,000 in funds to employers across the state.
“The Employer Innovation Fund drives innovation in meeting the workforce challenges of today and tomorrow,” Gov. Reynolds says. “These public-private partnerships address barriers for Iowans looking to get the training they need for a life-changing career. The collaboration happening at the grassroots level serves as a catalyst for Future Ready Iowa’s continued success.”