Skilled Iowa Initiative Launched to Assist Employers and Workers, Stimulate Business Growth: In June, Governor Terry Branstad unveiled the new public/private Skilled Iowa Initiative, a program that provides assurances to employers and potential employers that local workforces have the skills and abilities to fill job openings. The initiative will promote Skilled Iowa Communities, areas within the state with a certified workforce through the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) , encourage businesses to hire certified workers when applicable, and provide resources to those looking to improve their skills. The Skilled Iowa Initiative is a critical step in improving the quality of the workforce in Iowa. The program is supported by Iowa businesses, economic development, workforce development and education to enhance the quality of Iowa’s workforce and connect Iowa’s employers to the right labor pool. “This program is the right move for our state,” said Iowa Workforce Director, Theresa Wahlert. “Skilled Iowa provides a universal system of assessing workers’ skills and abilities for employers, as well as promoting workers’ development and improvement.” The program will allow employers to determine baseline skills for potential employees. The program uses a universal testing system that rates the skills and abilities of those in Iowa’s workforce, awarding an NCRC upon completion of the program. The NCRC allows workers to more accurately display their skills to current and potential employers. More details are available at the website: www.skillediowa.org. The Partnership is collaborating with Iowa Workforce Director to market the program, and support and encourage Central Iowa employers to participate in Skilled Iowa. Businesses interested in partnering with the Skilled Iowa program and communities interested in certifying their workforce may contact Denise Schippers at 515-281-7538 or firstname.lastname@example.org.