Director Wise announces Sector Partnership Leadership Council
Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise today announced a new state council that will provide strategic direction and expand sector partnership policy in Iowa. The group will meet for the first time on Friday, Sept. 2.
Sector partnerships are comprised of representatives from businesses within a given industry sector (such as information technology, health care, advanced manufacturing, and transportation), along with other key support partners, who work together to identify regional labor market challenges. These partnerships focus on closing industry-specific skill gaps in their communities by reducing barriers to employment, creating career pathways to high-quality jobs, and aligning education to workforce needs. The council will provide the strategic direction for this work across the state – identifying and addressing system-level policy and technical needs.
“Guidance and direction from leaders in business, industry, workforce, and education is crucial in our efforts to align education with regional workforce needs,” Wise said. “This council will help to expand and strengthen sector partnerships across the state to ensure Iowans have the skills necessary to obtain employment in high-demand occupations and industries.”
The alignment of education, workforce, and economic development efforts is key to the Future Ready Iowa initiative launched last year by Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds. The initiative calls for 70 percent of Iowans to have education or training beyond high school by 2025 to ensure Iowa’s workforce is equipped with the skills and education employers need. Sector partnerships help address these employer needs, as well as the training, employment, and career advancement needs of workers, by focusing on key industries in regional labor markets. Sector partnerships also play a vital role in Iowa’s Unified State Plan – a four-year workforce development strategy for implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
The Department worked in partnership with Iowa Workforce Development to ensure members of the Sector Partnership Leadership Council included representatives from all key areas: business and industry, trade, education, government, and community associations. Members of the council are:
- Kim Becicka, Vice President, Continuing Ed. and Training Services, Kirkwood Community College
- Jean Clabaugh, Senior Vice President, Talent Acquisition, Wells Fargo Consumer Lending
- Drew Conrad, Director, Institute for Decision Making, University of Northern Iowa
- Kristin Dietzel, Vice President of Workforce Solutions, Greater Dubuque Development Corp.
- Kevin Elsberry, Vice President, Human Resources, Mercy Health Network
- Rita Grimm, Chief Operating Officer, Iowa Economic Development Authority
- Mark Hanawalt, President, United Equipment Accessories
- Roark Horn, Executive Director, School Administrators of Iowa
- Chris Hummer, President, Don Hummer Trucking
- Kari McCann, President, Iowa Council of Foundations
- Renee Miller, Community Impact Officer, United Way of Central Iowa
- Dave Mitchell, Administrator, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services
- Tracy Ousey, Human Resources Director, Washington County Hospital
- Lynn Pickard, Administrator, Iowa Laborers Education and Training Trust Fund
- Denny Presnall, Senior Vice President, Farm Bureau Life and Mutual Insurance Co.
- Mike Ralston, President, Iowa Association of Business and Industry
- Ginny Shindelar, Vice President, Education and Training, Associated Builders and Contractors
- Elliott Smith, Executive Director, Iowa Business Council
- John Stineman, Executive Director, Iowa Chamber Alliance
- David Takes, President, Doerfer Companies
- Oather Taylor, Director of Recruitment and Diversity, Alliant Energy
- Beth Townsend, Director, Iowa Workforce Development
- Liang Chee Wee, President, Northeast Iowa Community College
Friday’s meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State Library of Iowa, Ola Babcock State Office Building (Forrest Spaulding Conference Room 310), 1112 East Grand Ave., in Des Moines.
For more information visit the Sector Partnership webpage.