Governor can fix the skilled worker shortage
Statement by Senator Herman Quirmbach, chair of the Senate Education Committee
“Last Wednesday, Governor Branstad visited a Council Bluffs manufacturing plant to draw attention to the shortage of skilled workers hampering Iowa’s economic growth. To quote the Governor:
‘We don’t have enough people with the right skill sets…We need to have community colleges partner with industry.’ (1)
“I welcome Governor Branstad’s rhetorical focus on job training, but Iowa businesses need now more than rhetoric. In contrast to what the Governor is saying, his proposed budget actually spends less to address this critical economic issue than either the House or the Senate.
“The final budget negotiations are underway. I call on Governor Branstad to speak out immediately in support of the Senate’s modest proposal to identify skilled job shortages and help Iowans gain the skills to fill them.
“The Iowa Senate has already voted to invest $20 million a year for three years to identify skilled job shortages and help Iowans gain the skills to fill them. This investment includes:
- $6 million new dollars for targeted financial aid in the form of ‘Skilled Workforce Shortage Grants’ administered by the Student Aid Commission.
- $2 million new dollars to go statewide with successful community college pilot programs that help Iowans get the skills needed by local businesses (The PACE/GAP program).
- $12 million in general workforce training funds, a $3 million dollar increase compared to last year’s investment in 260C.18A programs.
Tags: community colleges, Governor Branstad, Herman Quirmbach, skilled worker shortage, skilled workers