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Apprenticeships and job training expand the middle class

April 30, 2014
By State Senator Steve Sodders - D-State Center , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

The 21st century economy needs workers with postsecondary credentials and the ability to adapt to changing business needs. Apprenticeship programs prepare thousands of workers to fit that bill every year.

Apprenticeships can help Iowans train in a trade, improve their skills and get better-paying work. They are a proven way to prepare employees for a variety of occupations through a combination of supervised on-the-job training and technical classroom studies.

It's estimated that by 2018, 62 percent of all jobs in Iowa - that's 1.1 million jobs - will require some training or education beyond high school. By investing in apprenticeships and job training, we can ensure local employers have the skilled workers they need, while helping Iowans qualify for more rewarding careers that can build a better life for their families.

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State Senator Steve Sodders

Over the years, Iowa's Apprenticeship Program has funded efforts to help Iowans boost their skills. In 2013, Iowa had 662 registered apprenticeship programs with more than 8,100 registered apprentices. Apprenticeships can lead to work in such industries as construction, manufacturing, transportation, telecommunications, information technology, biotechnology, retail, health care, utilities and more.

The Iowa Senate recently approved SF 2353 to improve the state's Apprenticeship Program and increase funding to a total of $6 million for apprenticeships and specific worker training efforts at our community colleges. The amount of funding each business receives for the training they provide depends on the total number of businesses involved, the number of apprentices served and the hours of training.

To learn more about apprenticeship opportunities in Iowa for employers and individuals, go to



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