Policy and Systems Change
The Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition is a statewide partnership of Iowa’s leaders that serve as an organized voice for “skills” at the state’s capitol and build more policymaker support for state policies that grow Iowa’s economy by investing in its workforce.

Central Iowa Works convenes The Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition and has had much success in the past two years. The National Fund for Workforce Solutions (National Fund), a national partnership of communities, employers, workers, and philanthropy, awarded Central Iowa Works its 2014 Investor Committee Award for Exemplary Effort to Accomplish Systems Change.

Members of the coalition include faith-based groups, membership associations, representatives from the workforce partnerships, non-profits, community colleges, government partners, labor unions, business partners, and many others.

2017 Workforce Policy Agenda
The Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition advocates for policies that enable Iowans to obtain and sustain employment while also providing solutions to Iowa’s growing middle skills gap. The Coalition offers these policy recommendations for the 2017 state legislative session. Click here to view or download a full version of the report.

1. Maintain current investments in adult basic education, PACE programs, pathway navigators, industry sector partnerships and gap tuition assistance at the level of $12.5 million and ensure these opportunities are available in each of the state’s 15 service areas.

2. Provide the Iowa State Board of Education with the authority to adopt additional pathways to achieve a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) as recommended in the Iowa HSED Task Force Report.

3. Eliminate the child care “cliff effect” and increase access to quality and affordable child care assistance to help employers address the growing middle-skills gap and help working families balance their household survival budget. Expand the income eligibility level of the Child Care Assistance (CCA) program for working families from 145 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and index the child care provider reimbursement to the current market rate.

4. Support the recommendations of the Older Iowan Legislature to address Iowa’s direct care workforce needs.

5. Support policies and investments that help prepare offenders for a successful reentry to Iowa communities and employment through education and training during their incarceration.

6. Support both public and private transportation initiatives introduced during the 2017 legislative session that will reduce barriers to employment and education.

7. Support policies that eliminate wage theft in Iowa to ensure that workers are being fairly compensated for their services.