State Awards $4.3M In Employer Innovation Grants

The state has awarded 65 new Coronavirus Relief Fund Employer Innovation Fund Grants totaling $4.3 million.

The money goes to employers, nonprofits, community colleagues, high schools, private universities and the University of Iowa to help provide postsecondary education to Iowans who need work after the coronavirus pandemic affected their jobs.

Among the recipients were Des Moines Area Community College, Iowa Restaurant Association, Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, New Bohemian Innovation Collaboration in Cedar Rapids and Truck Country of Iowa in Dubuque. The grants ranged from $5,100 to $100,000.

“The winning projects address barriers for Iowans who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic by providing training opportunities that will build on our economic recovery,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement. “These programs not only help those affected by the pandemic, they will also focus on recruiting our minority and underrepresented communities to help us diversify our workforce and provide equal chances of success for all Iowans.”

The grants can cover training, books and equipment, as well as bus passes or other assistance to address barriers to training.

Approximately 60% of Iowa’s workforce has education or training beyond high school. The goal of Future Ready Iowa is 70% by 2025.

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