Iowa Business Sector Partnerships are regional groups designed to pull community and business leaders together to identify the needs and opportunities available for improving Iowa’s workforce.
Traditionally, such partnerships have been driven by business and industry leaders meeting with leaders from community colleges, economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, K-12 schools, adult education organizations, and workforce development leaders. Working together, Sector Partnership members have helped speed the development of new career pathways, guided the creation of new career training programs, and ensured that adequate training is available to meet the needs of regional employers, thus enabling their communities to thrive and grow.
The goal of Sector Partnerships is to think ahead about future industry needs and design the training and infrastructure needed to create regional workforce pipelines. Through the cooperation of industry, education, and government leaders, Sector Partnerships can help create viable career pathways that ensure Iowa has enough skilled workers and that those workers will be able to continue developing in fulfilling careers.
What We’re Working Toward
In September 2022, administration of Iowa’s Business Sector Partnerships moved from the Iowa Department of Education to Iowa Workforce Development as part of the state’s overall efforts to better align similar workforce groups and their shared goals. Many of the broader goals, initiatives, and models connected to Sector Partnerships align with programs and goals within IWD.
IWD plans in the coming months to help guide the various partnerships as they evolve into entities that can work more in harmony with Iowa’s local workforce development boards.
This shift is designed to make entities with interests in workforce issues function more efficiently as envisioned in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a federal law that was passed in 2014. WIOA empowered state and local government officials and private sector-led workforce boards with the responsibility to develop strategic, integrated plans that support economic growth and the labor forces needed to grow local economies.
Iowa Workforce Development looks forward to working with business and community leaders to help Iowa improve its workforce. IWD will be providing updates on this page and through its regular channels as these partnerships evolve.
For more information about Business Sector Partnerships, how you can play a role, or how their work may be impacting your industry, please contact Kathy Leggett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-725-3882.