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Gov. Reynolds awards $3 million in grants to expand high school student readiness

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Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education has awarded three $1 million grants to prepare high school students for success in college, postsecondary training, and the workforce.

The money if funded through the new Career Academy Incentive Fund.

Eastern Iowa Community College, Indian Hill Community College, and Waterloo Community Schools will each get a $1 million grant.

Career and technical education programs will be offered to students to benefit from industry partnerships, earn high school and college credit, and gain technical and traditional academic skills.

Expanding career academies develops our workforce talent pipeline and prepares high school students for high-skill, in-demand careers right here in Iowa. It’s about our students being able to find something they’re passionate about while also earning valuable industry experience and college credit,” said Gov. Reynolds. “I commend EICC, Indian Hills and Waterloo for their leadership in growing career academies to meet the needs of students, families, schools and employers in their local communities.

Eastern Iowa Community College will use the grant money to create a new regional center in DeWitt to serve students from eight rural districts in eastern Iowa. Waterloo Schools will use the money to expand its career center, which serves seven surrounding school districts. Indian Hills will make a new reginal center in Centerville for seven southern Iowa school districts.

Through these partnerships, students often earn industry credentials and certificates that they can take directly into the workforce and be highly marketable, or have a solid foundation to succeed in further postsecondary education,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo. “This is a great step toward ensuring all students have the opportunities career academies offer, and I am looking forward to more of these innovative partnerships being established.

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