Iowa Workforce Development Expands Registered Apprenticeship Programs
By: Hannah C. Welch
Governor Reynolds continues to work towards creating new and expanding current opportunities for apprenticeships throughout the state. At the beginning of the 2023 Legislative Session, Governor Reynolds gave her Condition of the State address where she announced new funding that would be focused on growing Iowa’s Registered Apprenticeship (RA) programs, specifically in areas of health care.
The Iowa Health Careers RA program began last year and was formed in order to focus on creating more opportunities for students to pursue nursing pathways. The new round of funding announced by the Governor this year includes $15 million and expands the Iowa Health Careers RA program to apply not only to nursing, but also to apprenticeships in careers such as EMTs, RN’s, Direct Support Professional, Behavioral Health & Substance Abuse Specialists, and other critical health care areas.
This program expansion follows last year’s creation of the Teacher & Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship (TPRA) Program. The TPRA program aims to allow high school students to earn a paraeducator certificate and an associate’s degree and allow paraeducators to earn their bachelor’s degree.
This year, the Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) announced $3.47 million in funding to go towards creating or expanding RA programs in Iowa. According to IWD data, this funding is expected to support a total of 5,206 apprentices in various occupations. The funding from the state comes from both the Iowa Apprenticeship Act (Iowa Code Chapter 15B) and the Future Ready Iowa Apprenticeship Programs (Iowa Code Chapter 15C).
Iowa Code Chapter 15B provides annual funding to support training and ongoing costs within currently active RA programs, while Iowa Code Chapter 15C provides annual funding to support new RA programs, specifically those that feature high-demand occupations.
The state’s RA programs continue to grow. On May 10, the Governor signed SF 318 into law. This legislation directs the state to establish the Iowa Office of Apprenticeship (IOA) within IWD and makes the IOA responsible for the registration and certification of apprenticeships.
If you have any questions about these RA programs or how these RA programs may affect you as an employer or business, please do not hesitate to reach out to Hannah Welch, or your BrownWinick attorney.