Iowa’s shortage of skilled workers has been our biggest obstacle to economic growth. Investing in education and job training can change that.
Good education and worker training lead to better-paying, high-quality jobs, and a skilled, well-educated workforce in turn draws good businesses to Iowa.
While Iowa has the highest high school graduation rate in the country — with almost 92 percent of students earning their diploma on time– only 27 percent of Iowa adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
By 2025, 68 percent of jobs in Iowa will require some education or training beyond high school, but not a bachelor’s degree. That’s where we’re targeting Iowa’s worker training efforts.
Over the last several years, we’ve worked to expand Iowa’s skilled workforce by:
- Investing in apprenticeship training and job retraining at our community colleges.
- Increasing the number of skilled workers with affordable tuition and other community college investments.
- Ensuring high-quality workforce training by boosting opportunities for Career Technical Education (CTE) in Iowa high schools.
- Improving the classroom experience for our K-12 students with a Teacher Leadership initiative. This program allows Iowa’s most effective educators to work with new teachers and to mentor those looking to improve.
- Ensuring access to initiatives and internships for students studying science, technology, engineering and math.
A recent evaluation of Iowa’s STEM efforts shows that students in high-quality STEM education programs score higher on Iowa Assessments in mathematics, science and reading, and that 90 percent of Iowans think STEM education should be a priority.
By making STEM a priority, Iowa now has more students taking Advanced Placement STEM courses, more teachers earning STEM endorsements and more students hoping to earn a STEM degree compared to five years ago.