On October 20, 2021, the Office of Governor Kim Reynolds announced that she is opening up to grant opportunities to manufacturing sector employers. These grants are one part of her plan to combat the struggles facing manufacturers and our current workforce challenges.
Iowa will be investing a total of $30 million in grant opportunities, using federal funds through the American Rescues Plan Act (ARPA), to assist small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses to improve workforce innovation through retention, recruitment of new employees, and leveraging technology solutions to address vacancies and increase workforce capacity. Advanced manufacturing is Iowa’s largest industry, accounting for nearly 18% of the state’s Gross Domestic Product.
“Like most other states, Iowa’s ongoing workforce shortage is a critical situation that needs addressed today,” said Gov. Reynolds. “With our current economic vitality, we are ideally situated to push our economy to new heights. We are committed to providing the necessary support to our advanced manufacturing industry, and other impacted industries, to overcome this primary obstacle and turn this short-term trajectory into long-term, broad-based prosperity.”
The first grant opportunity will supplement the existing Manufacturing 4.0 program for small manufacturers, employing up to 75 employees, with $5 million. The second grant opportunity will invest $25 million to make similar grant opportunities available to mid-size firms employing 76 – 250 employees.
We encourage all of our manufacturing sector employers to review these opportunities and submit their applications. If you need assistance with this process, please feel free to reach out to workforce development director, Alicia Frieze | firstname.lastname@example.org.