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Summer really flew by in a blink this year! School has begun and fall activities are underway. Good luck to all area teams and individuals for a successful upcoming season and my very best wishes for everyone to have a great school year!

Iowa has a rich history of community college support. These institutions provide an amazing education to students at an incredibly affordable price and employers rely on them to create a pipeline of skilled workers to fill jobs.

This fall, as students begin classes, many Iowans will have additional support and new tools at their disposal to access education and training that will help lay the foundation for a successful life.

Many people believe that the only path to a high-paying career is by going to college for four years and earning a degree. However, there are countless jobs available that don’t require a four-year degree and employers are desperate for more workers. Iowa is in need of more welders, more computer programmers, more nurses, and many other skilled trades.

During the 2018 session, the Legislature passed the Future Ready Iowa Act to help address our skilled worker shortage. This innovative program is intended to connect Iowa workers with training programs that open the door to high-paying and rewarding careers while also filling open jobs for employers. It also brings together our K-12 schools and community colleges and allows students to be exposed to more vocational education and first-hand, on-the-job experiences.

As part of the Future Ready Iowa initiative, we created the Last Dollar Scholarship program to help Iowans afford job training programs through our community colleges. These programs are aimed at helping students land careers  in high-demand job areas like welding, carpentry, information technology, and nursing, among many others.

A full list of these programs offered at each community college can be found at FutureReadyIowa.gov/college-list.

The Last Dollar Scholarship program is available to both high school graduates and adult learners. To qualify, applicants must be enrolled in a qualified program and apply for all other available state and federal grants and scholarships. Additional ongoing requirements must be met to continue receiving the scholarship.

As a product of a community college, I can personally attest to the quality of the programs offered and the important roles they fill in our small towns. As we move forward, we will continue to support Iowa’s community colleges to help more Iowans get the skills they need and grow our economy!

For more information on the Last Dollar Scholarship program, visit IowaCollegeAid.gov/LastDollar.


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