Iowa awards million grants to new Career Academy Fund

(Des Moines, IA) -- The state of Iowa is awarding three $1 million dollar grants to a new Career Academy Fund. The Iowa Department of Education says goal of the program is to prepare more high school students for success in college and postsecondary training.

Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, Indian Hills Community College, and Waterloo Community Schools each won a $1 million dollar grant to increase access to programs in high demand fields.

The program involves industry partnerships. It also allows students to earn high school and college credit, while gaining an academic and technical education.

The Career Academy Incentive Fund aligns with the Future Ready Iowa goal of 70 percent of the workforce having education or training beyond high school by 2025. This is the second round of awards.

EICC’s grant will be used to create a new regional center in DeWitt to serve students from eight rural districts in eastern Iowa. Waterloo’s funds will be used to expand its career center, which serves seven surrounding school districts and three nonpublic schools. Indian Hills is planning a new regional center in Centerville for seven southern Iowa school districts.

Students will have access to CTE programs in high-demand fields, including health care, advanced manufacturing, welding, engineering technology and agricultural sciences.

The Career Academy Incentive Fund was established by a 2019 law that extends a statewide penny sales tax for school infrastructure, called Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE), through January 2051.

The program calls for at least $1 million awarded annually to support career academy partnerships among community colleges, school districts, business and industry, Regional Planning Partnerships, Area Education Agencies and others to increase student access to college programs, state-of-the-art equipment and career paths in Iowa’s in-demand fields.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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