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Second round of Employer Innovation Fund grants totals $568,000


The state of Iowa has awarded a second round of grants from the Employer Innovation Fund, a component of the Future Ready Iowa program aimed at furthering postsecondary education and training by employers. Today, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced 22 grants totaling $568,000 to employers and employer consortiums across the state. 

The purpose of the grants is to create more opportunities for working Iowans to earn noncredit and for-credit postsecondary credentials leading to high-demand jobs in the state. An initial round of 13 grant recipients was announced in August; a total of $1.2 million was appropriated by the Iowa Legislature for the grants. 

The program’s Employer Innovation Fund “fuels grassroots innovation, empowering Iowa businesses and communities to create solutions that help Iowans find a good-paying job in a high-demand career,” Reynolds said. “We are excited about this program’s initial success and see even greater opportunities in the future.”  

Among the grants for projects in Greater Des Moines are: 

  • Broadlawns Medical Center, Des Moines, $50,000: Funding will provide stipends to 40 participants and help them complete their training to earn a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification, a high-demand career field.
  • Iowa Restaurant Association, West Des Moines, $50,000: This funding will expand opportunities for Iowa students to obtain ProStart certification. This is a nationally recognized certificate and first step into professional opportunities in the hospitality industry. This funding will remove barriers such as the cost of the exam and tracking of on-the-job training required for certification.
  • Heartland AEA, Johnston, $12,500: In partnership with the Iowa Hospital Association, Iowa Society of CPAs, Iowa Communication Alliance, Wolfe Eye Clinic and Master Builders of Iowa, Heartland AEA will develop an industry-sponsored career investigative learning module for each of these high-demand occupations. These modules connect students directly with industries they are interested in as well as provide access to mentors in the industry.

To see the complete list of grant recipients, click here.

Employers, community leaders and others can apply by submitting a proposal for implementing a creative solution to their local workforce needs. A third-round application period with $244,200 in remaining funds opens today and will close Dec. 17. To apply, click here.

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