Job training programs provide job skills and graduate productive, tax paying citizens. Funding for job training training programs through Workforce Development and Iowa’s community colleges is critical to the economic growth of our state. I support increased funding for job training and I stand in support of their continued partnership with Iowa’s community colleges. The two go hand in hand. I have witnessed the success stories of jobs programs. My work history includes working within those programs as an Employment Specialist, working with economically disadvantaged youth to teach them the basic skills they needed to find and keep a job. Federal and state job training programs have a long history of providing qualified workers for our state and nation. My family and countless others bear witness to the effectiveness of government sponsored job training programs.
My mother was a single parent of two young children without a high school diploma and no formal skills training. In the mid-1960’s, through the newly enacted Manpower Demonstration Act, she earned a cosmetology diploma and went to work as a licensed cosmetologist. That gave her the opportunity to move from the physically demanding jobs she previously held cleaning houses and taking in laundry. At the same time she earned her high school equivalency diploma and went on to open her own small business.
In the late 1970’s, I was without a college degree and no marketable job skills. The Comprehensive Employment Training Act put me to work as a social work associate while I completed my college degree. I was then able to find full-time employment as an Jobs Counselor in the same program which had given me the opportunity to finish college and led to a 33 year career as an educator in the Iowa community college system.
Job Training programs work. They train future workers and retrain Iowans who have lost their jobs through plant closings or lay-offs. They teach the skills workers need for new start-up businesses, and they upgrade skills for workers who need additional training in order to keep their present jobs. Employment and Training programs create success stories and result in well trained, tax paying citizens. I know the programs work because I and members of my family have benefited from them and as a employment counselor I witnessed and celebrated the success stories of others every day.