Funding is part of national partnership between the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor to increase job opportunities
A Northeast Iowa Community College-led consortium was awarded a grant of more than $12 million for job training and workforce development.
The funding of $12,695,959 was awarded through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative, a program created in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), as chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Appropriations subcommittee on health, education and labor, played a role in its passage.
“Rebuilding the middle class will take every available resource and smart investments that retrain workers for jobs in high-demand industries,” said Harkin. “With this funding, NICC will lead a consortium that provides the bridge to the growing health care industry in Iowa and surrounding states. This is an investment that puts people back to work, supports the local economy and reinvigorates the middle class.”
NICC is leading the way with a project called Bridges2Healthcare, which will implement evidence-based strategies to support workers in obtaining the necessary knowledge, skills and credentials to achieve well-paying employment. Hawkeye Community College is also part of this consortium, along with community colleges in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Iowa counties that will benefit from this grant include: Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Floyd, Grundy, Howard, Tama and Winneshiek.
Twenty-five employers are partners in Bridges2Healthcare. Employer partners will have jobs available for workers and will gain trained workers to fill those jobs.
The funding is part of a $500 million national effort announced by the U.S. Department of Labor, together with the U.S. Department of Education, to support community colleges with job training and workforce development to help economically dislocated workers who are changing careers. This is the first installment in a $2 billion, four-year investment.