Reynolds announces grant program to improve work-based learning

Kim Reynolds Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit on Feb. 7, 2023. CREDIT JARED STRONG, IOWA CAPITAL DISPATCH.

Gov. Kim Reynolds has announced the availability of up to $1.5 million in funding for programs that provide opportunities for high school students to explore their future careers.

The new Statewide Intermediary Work-Based Learning Grant will help students experience one-on-one contact with potential employers and help them make informed decisions about postsecondary education and careers. 

The grant is open to Iowa educational organizations, community colleges, nonprofit organizations and local workforce development boards, as well as any other entity with the capacity to provide students sustained interactions with industry or community professionals in a real worksite environment.

The goal of the grant is to encourage the creation and development of a range of work-based learning programs including internships, job shadowing experiences, apprenticeable occupations, or other workplace learning opportunities in targeted industries. Work-based learning programs increase awareness of career opportunities for students and help employers build relationships with potential future employees.

“Work-based learning helps show students that opportunities exist beyond just a four-year degree. By connecting high school students with local businesses for work-based learning opportunities, Iowa is providing students with the best environment for them to succeed,” said Ms. Reynolds in an Iowa Workforce Development news release. 

Funding may be used for staff salary and benefits, transportation, materials and supplies, or other related expenses. Applicants are required to match at least 25% of the grant funds received using public funds, private donations or in-kind contributions.

“Iowa continues to need more workers, and one of the most important steps we can take toward meeting that need is to ensure that students realize they don’t have to leave the state for the kind of careers they want,” said Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development, in the release.

Grant applications can be found here and will be accepted until noon June 2.

To learn more about the grant, join an informational webinar from 10-11 a.m. May 11. Visit this link to register.