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For Immediate Release: February 24, 2010
Contact: Kerry Koonce
Telephone: (515) 281-9646

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Midwest Research Partnership Receives Grant for Development of Skill Shed Methodology
Iowa Workforce Development to Handle Iowa’s Portion of the Grant

DES MOINES - A collaboration of state research organizations in Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, and Nebraska has received a grant through the Midwest Innovation Initiative (MI2), a project funded by the U.S. Department of Labor – Employment and Training Administration, to better inform workers of the skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow. The Initiative is managed by the Chicago-based Institute for Work and the Economy and works in partnership with the Midwestern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments, an association of state legislators from the Midwestern states plus North Dakota and South Dakota.

The purpose of the grant is to develop a research framework for analyzing the skills of regional economies and comparing them against the changing skill sets needed by businesses in rapidly emerging industries. The objective of the grant and the larger initiative is to assist in identifying and addressing the barriers preventing Midwestern states and communities from making full use of the competitive advantages of the region by functioning as a single, integrated economy.

“This research and analysis, made possible by the MI2 grant, will give workers and educators in Iowa a clearer picture of the skills and training that employer’s value in a job market that is changing more quickly than ever before. It will also help workers and employers identify and prepare for emerging industries in the regional economy.” said Elisabeth Buck, Director of Iowa Workforce Development.

“This grant will help us to better understand the skills that Missouri employers need for 21st century in-demand jobs and creating the type of agile training programs that our workers will need over the long-term to prosper.” said Dr. Marty Romitti, Director of the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the research arm of the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

“Indiana is a leader in job growth because of Hoosiers’ strong work ethic and our low-tax, pro-growth business climate,” said Teresa Voors, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. “This grant will increase our competitive advantage by arming Hoosiers with the skills required for the jobs of tomorrow.”

“Participating in the Skill Shed Methodology grant is fundamental to positioning Nebraska for future growth. The insights gained from this study will advance our focus on growing the economy by strengthening training and skill upgrading opportunities for workers that match regional industry requirements. Workers will be able to compete for and secure meaningful employment in high demand work environments.” said Catherine D. Lang, Commissioner of Labor, Nebraska Department of Labor.

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