IOWA — Businesses and schools across the state begin to participate in Governor Kim Reynolds new Future Ready Iowa Program.
‘Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning’ brings together students and employers using internships and projects.
The goal is to give students K-12 in the state real world experience to help find their passions and gain experience in a variety of career fields.
MercyOne Administrative Director of Clinical Resources Heather Beck said there is a project online for high school students to shadow a Patient Care Technician.
“[It’s an] Opportunity for them to see what the training is like, what it would be like to be a certified nursing assistant or PCT here at MercyOne. They can do a project. The project that is online is really more of a business plan where they could put together a business plan for a training program such as this,” Beck said.
Beck said MercyOne offers PCT training to people 18 and older who are interested in the career.
“Many students are not sure of what they want to go to or maybe they aren’t ready to go to college yet and they want to do an apprenticeship program or do a school to work program where they actually get in and do the work for awhile and see if they like it. Have opportunities to decide that before they go into a former program either in college or apprenticeship,” Beck said.
Johnston Community schools offers a class called ‘School to Work’ for its junior and senior students who are interested in learning more about different career fields.
School to Work Coordinator Lexi Shaffer said, “They can start to learn different skills, concepts and terminology in the career path they are interested in while also learning and practicing communication, collaboration, creativity. All these skills that really embodies a portrait of a learner.”
Shaffer said the class plans to do projects listed on Clearinghouse for Work-Based learning website.
In the first week of school, the class has taught students how to create a resume and alter it depending on the career field they are interested in.
Johnston High School senior Jaden Studer decided to enroll to learn more about staging houses and interior design.
“I thought it was a good opportunity to get out of the school for part of the day and go look at other opportunities that we probably don’t get here at the school. Real world opportunities like face-to-face with bosses, co-workers, people like that and kind of get a real idea of what working outside the school would be like,” Studer said.
Waukee Community School’s APEX program offers similar real-world experience to its students. Des Moines Public Schools plans to do projects from the new program as well.
For a full list of participating businesses, click here.
The Future Ready Iowa Initiative has a goal of seeing 70 percent of the Iowan workforce with an education or training by 2025.