An Iowa business group is working with the state’s community colleges, like Southeastern Community College, to boost programs that develop work skills, like welding, that are in short supply.
Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds has been leading state government efforts to boost enrollment in science, technology, engineering and math courses.
“Not only is there existing need, but we have a lot of business and industry tell us they are at a place where they can really expand. Again, it comes back to that skills gap in order to find the skilled worker they need in order to expand.”
Some community colleges are retooling their classrooms with the latest advanced manufacturing gadgets. Others are bypassing the classroom and offering training programs on the factory floor. Within five years the state’s manufacturers will have 66-hundred job openings that cannot be filled with qualified workers according to the Association of Business and Industry.