Iowa governor discusses workforce in Lee County - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Iowa governor discusses workforce in Lee County

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Reynolds speaking at the Salute to Industry Summit. Reynolds speaking at the Salute to Industry Summit.
Reynolds discussed the importance of manufacturing in Lee County. Reynolds discussed the importance of manufacturing in Lee County.
Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg speaking to manufacturers about high speed internet for better connections in rural Iowa. Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg speaking to manufacturers about high speed internet for better connections in rural Iowa.
FORT MADISON, Ia. (WGEM) -

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds was in Lee County on Thursday to discuss workforce goals in the state.

Bruce Hardy is the plant manager of Silgan Containers. He said most manufacturing employers have the same problem: hiring qualified workers.

"We have a hard time hiring people," Hardy said. "There just aren't enough people around to hire. We have jobs available. We're just looking for folks to fill them."

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds visited the Salute to Industry Summit Thursday in fort Madison. She wants 70 percent of the workforce to have higher than a high school diploma by 2025.

"It's really about targeting the individuals, finding out where they're at," Reynolds said. "Helping provide a support system and helping them get a skill for a great career."

Reynolds said to give businesses more opportunities to get into schools and create programs for students., they need more money. She said an easier tax code will do that.

"As we look to reduce the taxes, make them simpler and fair and more competitive, that will reduce our reliance on having to use tax credit and incentives," Reynolds added.

Hardy said they've been working with area schools to spark interest in manufacturing among students.

"Mechanical skills have not been high on the list, so we're trying to redevelop that because they're more important now than ever," Hardy said.

With 25 percent of the workforce in Lee County in manufacturing, Reynolds goal is to roll out a new program to get employers into the classrooms more often.

"The getting into the high schools, the bringing the counselors in, bringing the educators in, getting industry into the classrooms," Reynolds said. "That's exactly what Future Ready Iowa is all about."

Reynolds said she plans to meet with a group working on the Future Ready Iowa initiative next week. The initiative will partner businesses with schools to create training opportunities and internships. Reynolds added that it's a priority and she'll build the state budget to reflect that. 
 

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