Future Ready Iowa needs funding to close Iowa skills gap

State officials have high hopes for a bridging a skills gap in the Iowa workforce, aiming to ensure that 70 percent of Iowa workers have training or education beyond high school by 2025.

Most Iowans who want work have a job, Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said in Cedar Rapids Monday. The unemployment rate — 2.6 percent — is at an 18-year low.

Yet there are 44,000 Iowans looking for work, and more than 60,000 job opening across the state.

In many cases, Townsend told the Downtown Rotary, the barrier to people finding work and employers finding people to fill jobs is that skills gap.

About 128,000 Iowans need to be educated, certified and trained to meet Iowa’s workplace needs. About 58.4 percent of the workforce has met the goals of Future Ready Iowa, but that’s up just three-10ths of a percent from the previous year.

“My expectation is that when we do get an appropriation, we would see an increase of certainly more than three-10ths of a percent each year,” she said later.

Click here to read the rest of James Lynch article published on The Gazette website. 

About Timmothy Boettcher

Business Career Originally recruited in 1998 as a software engineer to design and develop cutting edge technology for new products, Mr. Boettcher assumed leadership for Research and Development and then Engineering before being named President of Realityworks in 2005. Responsible for total operations, he has driven significant understanding of market opportunities, gatekeepers, and funding in education, healthcare, and public service markets; bolstered production and supply chain efficiencies; acquired and launched new age technology; rebuilt leadership competencies; led growth into the Company’s over 65% US school system and over 90 country presence; and led the implementation of the Company’s ESOP to build on the societal mission of the Company and further the family oriented culture to reward employees for their success in achieving the mission and efforts to drive growth. Focused on high market growth, he has led the Company’s turnaround and achieved double-digit top line growth simultaneously with dramatic profit and cash flow improvement. Mr. Boettcher brings more than twenty years of engineering, product development, and global operations experience in education, advanced technology, manufacturing, and distribution industries. Prior to joining Realityworks, he held positions at Cray Research, a leading manufacturer of the world’s fastest supercomputers and Wal-Mart Distribution, the world’s leader in distribution and logistics. Professional & Community Activities Mr. Boettcher is passionate about building effective connections between our countries workforce development system, economic development programs, and education infrastructure. A solid connection between these systems is needed to ensure our youth and workforce are prepared to be global competitive and ready to take on the challenges and needs faced by industry. In delivering on this passion Mr. Boettcher: - has presented workforce development strategies on the national level for Harvard’s Pathway’s to Prosperity, U.S. Department of Labor, and at many Career and Technical Education events. - established and currently chairs the Industry Workforce Needs Council (IWNC), a national level group of industry leaders that works directly with education to increase support for Career and Technical Education in the country in alignment with industry needs. - served on the Board of Directors for the Association for Career and Technical Education. - chaired the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (Chair) to help establish and lead regional workforce development initiatives. - established and led the Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin (Chair) to help bring critical C-level talent to start-ups and small to mid-sized companies to help them grow. - served on the Board for the Eau Claire Economic Development Corporation (President). - and provides guidance to institutions like the International Business Programs Advisory Council of the University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire). Mr. Boettcher also holds seven U.S. and foreign patents.

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