Iowa’s 15 community colleges hope a new $13 million federal grant gets more students into hard to fill jobs. Tuesday morning, Des Moines Area Community College President Rob Denson said, “Businesses clearly need educated and highly skilled workers. And Iowans from all walks of life want better opportunities to take advantage of many of the jobs that are currently sitting available.”
DMACC in Ankeny let state and national leaders tour their welding classes. Welding is one of the professions where employers claim they can’t find enough qualified workers. Seth Harris, the Deputy U.S. Secretary of Labor, believes the grant gets more people working which will stimulate the economy. He said, “Smart, hard-working young people coming out of Iowa schools with skills. Iowa employers need to keep them right here in Iowa and being productive. And let me just say for the parents in the room, don’t worry, they’re not going to have to live at home because they’re going to be able to earn good, solid middle class incomes.”
Besides welding, the grant will fund training in areas like manufacturing technology, robotics and industrial automation.