Iowa Workforce Development awards more than $3.6 million to expand apprenticeship programs

Iowa WorkForce Development

Iowa Workforce Development announced it has awarded over $3.6 million in funding designated to create or expand Registered Apprenticeship Programs across Iowa.

Benefiting both employers and high schools, Registered Apprenticeship Programs are a tool for building new workforce pipelines in high-demand fields and allowing young Iowans to “earn while they learn,” according to a news release.

The state’s support of these programs is provided through the Iowa Apprenticeship Act (15B) and the Iowa Registered Apprenticeship Development Fund (15C). 15B provides $3 million in annual funding to support training or ongoing costs within any active Iowa Registered Apprenticeship program. 15C, with $760,000 in funding available annually, applies to programs that have created or expanded with a new program in a high-demand occupation.

The state announced that 31 recipients are receiving 15C funding and 57 recipients are receiving 15B funding this year. In total, this year’s funding is estimated to support approximately 5,957 apprentices across the state, according to the release.

During fiscal year 2021, Iowa saw record growth in Registered Apprenticeship programs, adding 51 new occupations, 4,515 apprentices and 197 programs – the third highest number of new programs across the country.

Previously, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) oversaw the Iowa Apprenticeship Act (15B) and the Iowa Registered Apprenticeship Development Fund (15C). To streamline state efforts to support the rapid growth of apprenticeship programs that are traditionally managed by IWD, both 15B and 15C funding were transitioned to IWD to create one central point of contact for all Registered Apprenticeship opportunities, according to the release.

“Iowa continues to lead by expanding the earn while you learn model to more occupations, high school students, and employers who collectively are building a stronger, more prepared workforce that our state needs for the future,” said Governor Kim Reynolds, in the release. “I applaud the diverse number of Registered Apprenticeship programs – both new and existing – that are committed to the goals of a highly-skilled workforce and a Future Ready Iowa.”

“Registered Apprenticeship programs continue to be one of the most successful tools we have in today’s workforce, with opportunities in nearly every occupation you can imagine,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development, in the release. “We are committed to expanding and supporting these programs that are already creating long-term pipelines for Iowa.”

For more information on Iowa’s Registered Apprenticeship programs and the funding opportunities available, visit