DES MOINES — Gov. Kim Reynolds, joined by business and education leaders, today announced opportunities now available through the Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning, a virtual space that connects students and employers through shared projects that enable students to learn through real-world professional experiences.

“By exploring potential interests early on, students are better positioned to make informed decisions about their career path,” Reynolds said. “Today, we have jobs looking for people and high-quality work-based learning can connect students to exciting careers while helping employers hire the talent they need to continue growing our economy and their business.”

The Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning has two key features:

• A project board in which employers post real-world tasks that students complete under the supervision of their teachers.

• A business partner directory for teachers to find other kinds of work-based learning opportunities, such as internships, that employers have expressed interest in.

“Work-based learning fits hand in glove with Iowa’s definition of college and career readiness, which emphasizes not only the content knowledge that students need for success, but also the skills to navigate transitions through and beyond school as learners and leaders,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said.

The clearinghouse is part of the Future Ready Iowa initiative, which is about growing a skilled workforce statewide by connecting Iowans to the education and training needed for rewarding careers. Gov. Reynolds established the clearinghouse through an executive order last year.

The clearinghouse is funded through a $300,000 state appropriation and is run by the Iowa Department of Education in partnership with Iowa’s area education agencies, Iowa Workforce Development, the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.

The clearinghouse builds on other successful work-based learning options in Iowa. These efforts include the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council’s STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) program, a statewide intermediary network for work-based learning run by Iowa community colleges, and high school registered apprenticeship programs.

For more information and to explore work-based learning opportunities, visit the clearinghouse website: clearinghouse.futurereadyiowa.gov.

This news release was sent to the Herald.

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