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State Senator Steve Sodders New Workforce Grant Helps Iowans Get Job Training

December 7, 2012
Northern-Sun Print
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and the upcoming Christmas season. Carrie and I are planning a short trip through Iowa soon. Adam is working hard and getting us prepared to go steelhead fishing with his Grandpa during Christmas break. Pocket has been focused on her studies and West Marshall basketball. Soon she will be driving herself to school… Carrie and I ask for extra prayers on this one! When looking ahead to the 2013 session of the Iowa Legislature, continuing to create jobs and grow Iowa’s economy tops my priority list. We need to do what we can to help more Iowans recover from the national recession. Ensuring that workers can get the training they need must be part of our statewide effort. Iowa ranks 13th in overall business friendliness but only 40th when it comes to labor supply. That’s why I’m working to help Iowans get the skills they need to fill in-demand jobs. Iowa’s agricultural manufacturers need more welders, and Iowa businesses in almost every field can’t find enough people to run computers and manage software. When employers can’t find the skilled workers they need in Iowa, they lose business to competitors, hire people from another state or some other country to do the work, or move their business out of Iowa. By 2018, 62 percent of all jobs in Iowa will require some training or education beyond high school. In addition to credentials, employers need workers with the professional skills necessary to succeed in the workplace, such as dependability, time management and initiative. That’s why I fought this year for $5 million in Skilled Workforce Shortage Tuition Grants for students attending Iowa’s community colleges. Senate File 2321, approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, provides grants to Iowans studying full- or part-time at one of our community colleges and are in need of financial help to cover their tuition. Grants are awarded for study in areas where Iowa doesn’t have enough workers with the right skills. About 4,500 students are eligible for the grants this school year. The maximum Skilled Workforce Shortage Tuition Grant is $2,040 for eligible Iowa students who enroll on a full-time basis during the 2012-13 academic year. Grants for full-time students are intended to cover one-half of the average tuition and fees at Iowa community colleges. A complete summary of the Skilled Workforce Shortage Tuition Grant is available at http://tinyurl.com/SWSTG. For a list of the areas of study eligible for these grants, check out pages 7-10. To find out which programs are available at Hawkeye Community College and Iowa Valley Community College, contact the financial aid offices. Additional information This is a legislative update from Senator Steve Sodders, representing Hardin & Marshall counties. For newsletters, photos and further information, go to www.senate.iowa.gov/sodders. To contact Senator Sodders during the week, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at home at 641-483-2383. E-mail him at steve.sodders@legis.iowa.gov.  Senator Sodders is an Assistant Majority Leader and chair of the Economic Growth Committee. He also serves on the Education, Judiciary, State Government, and Veterans Affairs committees, as well as the Government Oversight Committee.  

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