Registration is now open to attend Future Ready Iowa Regional Summits in four additional locations throughout the state, increasing the span of opportunities for collaboration among local stakeholders on workforce solutions.


The day-long summits are scheduled for late September and early October in the Iowa communities of Ames, Centerville, Creston and Sioux City. The events will bring together key stakeholders in education, business, economic development and community organizations to create local strategies that ensure all Iowans are future ready.


“The Future Ready Iowa Regional Summits will provide an opportunity for local and regional partners to come together and discuss potential solutions based on their area’s workforce needs and challenges,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said of the initiative, which has a goal of 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce having education or training beyond high school by 2025. “A high number of registrants is a clear indication that Iowans everywhere are ready to step up and work together to solve this problem.”


“We are pleased that leaders across Iowa are reaching out and volunteering to host summits,” Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said. “Our IowaWORKS Centers statewide are ready to partner with local leaders to create and adapt future ready strategies to meet local workforce needs.”


Using a localized lens, the summits will provide a platform to develop local strategies following the recommendations made by the Alliance. Earlier this year, the legislature passed the Future Ready Iowa Act unanimously with bipartisan support. Each summit will provide tailored discussions on how to find, use and talk about a community’s occupation, income, education and demographic data in order to create data-driven strategic plans to meet local workforce needs. Stakeholders will also discuss ways to engage and include underrepresented populations. Engaging business, community and other regional partners in a grassroots strategy is an action item recommended by the Future Ready Iowa Alliance, a cross-sector collaboration of 58 leaders across the state.


“The summits will be working summits and highly interactive,” Future Ready Iowa Policy Adviser Kathy Leggett said of the agenda, which includes group discussion and a toolkit takeaway. “We want to help channel and align efforts and conversations that leaders in workforce, business and education are having around the state so that we can ensure Iowa meets the 70 percent goal.”


Learn more at FutureReadyIowa.gov and register to attend the local summit in Ames on Tuesday, Oct. 9, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Iowa State University Research Park, 1805 Collaboration Place, Suite 1250.


For more information about those planning efforts or to inquire about planning a summit in your area, contact Kathy Leggett at kathy.leggett@iwd.iowa.gov.