ICAN Announces Support for Skilled Iowa Initiative
Certification seen as part of college and career readiness mission
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA (October 16, 2012) — The Iowa College Access Network©
has partnered with Iowa Workforce Development on the Skilled Iowa Initiative, joining more
than 600 Iowa employers committed to building a skilled workforce for Iowa companies and
Announced in June 2012, by Governor Branstad, the Skilled Iowa Initiative is a program
aimed at improving job training and employability in Iowa, and by extension creating
economic growth throughout the state.
ICAN, a nonprofit organization providing career and college readiness planning to students
and parents in Iowa, has been educating and empowering Iowa’s future workforce since
1998, and sees the initiative as a natural partnership to extend its mission and assist more
Iowans with career success.
“The Skilled Iowa Initiative fits right into the ICAN mission of empowering Iowans to achieve
their educational and career goals,” said Rob Miller, ICAN executive director. “Studies show
that the careers of tomorrow will need education and training beyond high school and this
initiative is part of that push to get students to do more for their future.”
A large part of the Skilled Iowa Initiative is the promotion and completion of the National
Career Readiness Certificate. The certification assessment was designed to measure Page 2 of 2
individual workers’ skills in the areas of applied mathematics, reading for information and
locating information, all critical areas in the highest growing job fields, including Science,
Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
“Part of college planning is career planning and that automatically leads to a discussion of
employer expectations,” explained Miller. “The National Career Readiness Certificate is a
great way for individuals to determine not only what they are currently qualified to do, but
also areas for improvement if they wish to pursue a certain career path.”
In addition to resume-building and job preparation for future employees, the initiative has
brought together business and industry leaders from around the state. By providing an
effective measurement of foundational skills employers are able to assess a potential
employee’s growth potential and make top candidates stand out from the crowd.
“This initiative is more than just a resume tool for job seekers; it’s a way for employers to
boost the economy and build a stronger workforce for their companies by encouraging a
higher level of commitment from their potential employees and the company themselves,”
stated Miller. “ICAN is proud not only to support the awareness and growth of the
certification among job-seeking Iowans, but we are proud to commit internally to the
certification within our own hiring practices.”
In the past five years 13,204 certificates have been awarded in Iowa. Together with the
other 632 participating businesses ICAN aims to increase awareness of the initiative, the
certification and the importance of education and training for individual Iowans and their
communities. To learn more about the Skilled Iowa Initiative, visit www.skillediowa.org. To
learn more about ICAN, visit www.ICANsucceed.org.