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0613_NEW_Reynolds

Teri Vos, left, of Vermeer Corp. and acting Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, center, listen  at the Career Academy of Pella as Gov. Kim Reynolds discusses details of a new online resource for employers, high schools and students interested in establishing a registered apprenticeship program to enhance work skills and career opportunities.

PELLA — A new online “playbook” is available to guide Iowa employers, high schools and students interested in establishing a registered apprenticeship program in their local communities to enhance work skills and job opportunities, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday.

Reynolds made the announcement at the Career Academy of Pella, which partnered with Vermeer Corp. to develop the playbook, avaliable at www.IowaSTEM.gov/Playbook.

The work was done in consultation with other regional employers, school districts and governmental agencies, such as Iowa’s STEM Advisory Council, Future Ready Iowa, the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship in Iowa and Des Moines Area Community College.

“The combination of classroom instruction with on-the-job experience through registered apprenticeships takes learning to a new level,” said Reynolds, who used her weekly news conference to promote the effort. “This employer-driven model helps students gain valuable skills and pursue outstanding career opportunities in Iowa, while helping businesses hire the skilled workers they need.”

The playbook, which provides detailed steps for employers, high schools and students, is expected to accelerate apprenticeship opportunities that will help Iowa employers deal with a shortage of skilled workers and better prepare young people for careers in high-demand, good-paying jobs, the governor said.

It also will help achieve the administration’s Future Ready Iowa goal of 70 percent of the state’s workforce having education or training beyond high school by the year 2025.

Sharing the stage with the governor and Acting Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg was Charles Vander Velden, a Pella High School senior and the first apprentice in the academy’s welding apprenticeship program.

“I became interested in the apprenticeship program because I saw this as a great opportunity for my future,” Vander Velden told the group, which included high school Principal Eric Nelson and representatives from Vermeer and DMACC, who worked with the academy and the U.S. Department of Labor to start the registered welding apprenticeship program.

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