Reynolds helps shape state’s economy

Having an economy with a diverse array of jobs and a workforce with the skills to fill them are both vitally important to the future of the Hawkeye State. That’s why an announcement Gov. Kim Reynolds made on Nov. 14 is extremely significant.

The governor said two new registered apprenticeship programs have been added to the growing roster of such initiatives statewide and across the nation. Wells Fargo and Tyson Foods, two major employers with a large presence in Iowa, have committed to offering apprenticeship initiatives.

“This is significant because expanding registered apprenticeship opportunities in our state helps train Iowans for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” Reynolds said.

According to the governor, registered apprenticeship is an employer-driven training program that provides on-the-job learning with related classroom instruction. One of its key features is that apprentices can begin earning a paycheck as soon as they become part of the program.

Reynolds said she views apprenticeships as a proven solution for recruiting, training and retaining topflight talent in Iowa.

Iowa is helping demonstrate to the nation the potential of registered apprenticeship opportunities. Data released by the governor’s office shows that as of early this month, our state had 846 active registered apprenticeship programs and 8,720 active registered apprentices.

Reynolds is a strong champion of apprenticeships. Her leadership in this evolving field has been recognized by President Donald Trump, who recently appointed her to serve on the President’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. In that important national role she will be able to showcase what is being accomplished here and share her impressive expertise more widely.

“Growing registered apprenticeship opportunities will help us reach our Future Ready Iowa goal of 70 percent of the workforce having education or training beyond high school by the year 2025,” Reynolds said.

The Times-Republican agrees. We take pride in our governor’s leadership role in strengthening apprenticeship programs. We congratulate her on assuming this new national role.