Preparing Students for the Future

Waukee high school students

In an effort to help expand Iowa’s talent pipeline, initial models have been set in motion to help students identify skills and paths to pursue specific careers and gain necessary certifications and competencies for local employers. These models will helps students gain employable skills and recognize the opportunities that exist in their own backyard.

The following reports demonstrate the need for additional focus on this area:

  • Education and Workforce Trends through 2025” provides a forecast that by 2025 68 percent of jobs in Iowa will require education and training beyond high school, which includes fast-track STEM careers in advanced manufacturing, information technology, health care and the skilled trades.
  • A Stronger Nation” shows that today in Iowa 4 percent of residents between the ages of 25 and 64 hold a high-quality certificate. This brings the state’s overall level of education after high school to 47.3 percent.
  • Metrics That Matter” provides key statistics shaping Iowa's workforce talent pipeline as analyzed by Iowa Workforce Development. Click here for a complete list of high-demand jobs.

To help make an impact on future preparedness of students, a high school registered apprenticeship pilot is being developed between Vermeer and Career Academy of Pella. The pilot program will feature a welding apprenticeship opportunity for students this fall. The STEM Council will develop recommendations based on this experience, which will guide other interested educational groups throughout Iowa.

Additionally, four Iowa STEM BEST® schools received a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship subaward from the STEM Council, which was made available to the STEM Council through an ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion grant through the U.S. Department of Labor awarded to Iowa Workforce Development in 2016. Boone High School, Muscatine High School, Spencer High School and Waukee APEX are developing quality pre-apprenticeship, collaborative learning models with local businesses. Ultimately as an outgrowth of this grant, these models will be showcased and shared with other communities across Iowa.