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Iowa colleges to focus on manufacturing workforce

Published: Friday, April 26, 2013 11:25 a.m. CDT

IOWA CITY (AP) — Iowa’s 15 community colleges say they will join forces to offer more programs that help workers get jobs in fields such as welding, industrial maintenance and robotics.

The colleges announced Thursday they will use a $13 million federal grant to form the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, which will develop non-credit and credit programs to help more workers earn industry-recognized credentials.

The consortium will work with employers in advanced manufacturing to identify the occupational skills they are looking for in workers and develop programs that fit their needs.

ACT in Iowa City will support the initiative through its Tomorrow’s Workforce Now program, which helps workers assess their strengths and define career paths. The colleges will recruit workers through an assessment process.

The grant is from the U.S. Department of Labor.