CEDAR RAPIDS – As students and educators across Iowa head back to school this week, Monica Vernon hosted Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Rep. Lois Frankel (FL-22), and Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12) for a tour of the apprenticeship program offered at Iron Workers Local 89 Training Center in Cedar Rapids. Vernon stressed the importance of investing in workforce development and job training programs to help hardworking Iowans get ahead.
“We need to change the way we look at higher education – a four year degree is not the only route to a successful career,” said Monica Vernon. “We need to be doing everything we can to ensure Iowans are prepared for high skill, good paying jobs. Supporting workforce development and apprenticeship programs is the first step.”
“It’s important to reevaluate how we are preparing our students for the future,” said Rep. Cheri Bustos. “Monica’s focus on workforce readiness is essential to creating the skilled, engaged workforce we need to grow the local economy and keep jobs here.”
“Investment in our workforce is key to creating a strong foundation for the local economy,” said Rep. Lois Frankel. “Monica’s strong support for common sense policies that strengthen our middle class, like job training programs, is exactly what we need in Congress.”
“Being from manufacturing regions, Monica and I know how important a skilled workforce can be for a thriving middle class and a strong economy,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell. “Affordable, career-oriented educational programs, like the Iron Workers Local 89 apprenticeship, provide a pathway to 21st century manufacturing jobs that Monica will fight for in Congress.”
Iron Workers Local 89 is part of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers. Started in 1965, the Joint Apprenticeship and Training program trains students in the skills necessary to work in all aspects of ironworking. The 3-year program combines classroom instruction with paid, training-level employment. Apprentices graduate to journey-person and are recognized as well qualified workers in the ironworking industry.