IOWA NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION
Elevate Campaign Receives Additional $500,000 for Outreach to K-12 Students
(May 27, 2014) Elevate Advanced Manufacturing, a statewide outreach campaign to promote careers and training in advanced manufacturing, has received more than $500,000 in new funding to address the current skills gap. Iowa Community Colleges have agreed to donate $225,000 over an 18-month period for statewide outreach to K-12 students. The Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) will provide another $150,000 from the ABI Foundation's Education Fund and 11 private companies are donating a combined $150,000.
This level of commitment from education and private industry rounds out an already robust campaign launched in August 2013 to focus on the immediate needs of industry and the skilled labor shortage in the state of Iowa. The program is partially funded by the Iowa-Advanced Manufacturing (I-AM) Consortium through a U.S. Department of Labor TAACCCT Grant.
By 2018, there is a projected shortage of 6,672 skilled workers in the advanced manufacturing sector.1 But the U.S. public suffers from confusion between perceptions and reality when it comes to these high-demand positions. According to the Public Perception Index published by the Manufacturing Institute, the U.S. public greatly supports the manufacturing industry but is unwilling to encourage their children to pursue careers in manufacturing.2
Many of Iowa's advanced manufacturing companies are strong and innovative, offering cutting-edge products, and provide employees with a clean, safe working environment, attractive pay and good benefit packages. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2011, the average manufacturing worker made $77,060 annually, including pay and benefits, while the average worker in other industries earned $60,168.
Advanced manufacturing is Iowa1s largest industry, contributing $28 billion annually to the state's economy. This negative public perception and lack of skilled workers could be detrimental to the state over the next several years as the industry continues to grow.
Outreach through Elevate will address this negative perception by showing students hands-on examples of the advancements in technology and work environments, and what it truly means to work in advanced manufacturing today. Activities will include an educational campaign of advanced manufacturing career pathways, with in-school activities, presentations, plant tours, and events. Many events will help facilitate greater connections between students, industry, and training options at their local community college. The campaign website, www.elevateiowa.com, continues to provide support through video testimonials, a self-assessment tool, career pathway guides, a job search, and statewide training information.
The Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) has been the voice of Iowa business since 1903, and its mission is to collectively provide value to business and industry on issues impacting Iowa employers. ABI is currently comprised of over 1,400 Iowa businesses of all types and sizes employing more than 300,000 Iowans.
(May 27, 2014) The Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (I-AM) is an Iowa community college initiative to elevate advanced manufacturing, funded through a $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor1s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program.
1 State and Regional Employment Analyses
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