State Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm of Cresco says she supports a new initiative that enables community colleges to serve Iowans who might otherwise slip through the cracks.
Under the new PACE (Pathways for Academic Career and Employment) initiative, community colleges will help struggling Iowans identify their strengths, learn about local job openings and the skills needed to fill them, and put together the personal and financial resources necessary to succeed. The tuition Gap Assistance Program (GAP) will address the existing funding "gap" faced by some Iowans who can't get financial aid to learn new skills needed by Iowa employers. Direct training costs, including tuition, books, fees and equipment, are eligible to be funded.
"Iowa's shortage of skilled workers is hurting our state's economy, especially when it comes to good wage jobs," said Wilhelm. "To meet employers' demand for skilled workers, we must ensure that Iowans don't fall through the educational and economic cracks. Community colleges already provide certificate training. With PACE and GAP, they'll be able to bring together all available resources to help Iowans working to improve themselves."