(The Center Square) — Disrupted Iowa employees can enroll in a new federally funded training program that offers an accelerated path to a career in information technology, Iowa Workforce Development announced Thursday.
IowaWORKS and JobWorks Education and Training Systems have teamed up to offer the TechWorks program, a 12-week virtual training program primarily aimed at Iowans who have lost their jobs through the pandemic through no fault of their own.
The Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act National Grants for Disrupted Workers fund this opportunity, IWD Public Information Officer Jesse Dougherty told The Center Square in an emailed statement Thursday.
“Our state cannot afford to leave workers on the sidelines, so we are excited to begin offering this unique path to bring more Iowans to in-demand fields,” said IWD Director Beth Townsend in a press release. . “It’s no secret that IT professionals are a highly sought-after talent base. This program will help empower disrupted employees and accelerate their career prospects.”
The training leads to A+ certification and IT Fundamental Certification. Program participants receive a free laptop, which they can keep after completing the full course. IowaWORKS career planners help guide participants through the course and prepare them for employment.
Iowa has more than 2,500 job openings in IT-related jobs.
“While the number of job openings can fluctuate daily, we see a wide variety of occupations where IT is in demand,” says Dougherty. “Currently, we see the highest demand for computer systems engineers/architects and computer programmers, followed by software developers.”
Based on industry growth, IWD projects an estimated 3,645 annual openings in computer and math professions from 2018 to 2028, he said. Based on the 2019 Iowa Wage Report, entry-level wages are $23.23 and median wages are $37.48.
“With the ever-increasing need for IT workers in Iowa, any opportunity to develop Iowan’s skills to participate in the innovation economy is a very good thing,” Brian Waller, president of the Technology Association of Iowa, told The Center. Square in an emailed statement Friday. “Every company in Iowa is a technology company, and the demand for both entry-level and experienced IT workers is at an all-time high and is expected to continue in that direction.”
New cohorts for the program begin monthly. To enroll, contact your local IowaWORKS office or contact Jama Robinson at email@example.com or 319-365-9474 ext 31202.