CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (September 19, 2016)-Kirkwood Community College Vice President of Continuing Education and Outreach Services Kim Becicka has been appointed to Iowa’s new Sector Partnership Leadership Council.
Kirkwood is at the forefront convening sector partnerships designed to overcome workforce challenges. The college currently convenes six sector partnerships engaging more than 90 businesses in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. Industries include advanced manufacturing, architecture, construction and engineering, financial services, information technology, healthcare and transportation. Sector partnerships are a method where by education as well as economic and workforce development systems join forces with industry to address workforce needs.
“A lot of the work that’s being done in the corridor centers around improving and growing the talent pipeline,” said Becicka. “The partnerships have spurred some creative approaches, changing perceptions and mapping training pathways, to tackle our workforce issues.”
Kirkwood’s first experience with sector partnerships started in 2010 for advanced manufacturing. Since then Becicka has been working hand in hand with employers to grow sector partnerships in the region.
Becicka and 22 representatives from business and industry, trade, education, government and community associations comprise Iowa’s Sector Partnership Leadership Council. The new council appointed by the Iowa Department of Education will provide strategic direction and expand sector partnership policy in Iowa.
Currently, 85 of Iowa’s 99 counties are served by sector partnerships. Sector partnerships align with Governor Terry Branstad’s Future Ready Iowa initiative launched last year. The initiative calls for 70 percent of Iowans to have education or training beyond high school by 2025. Only 33 percent of Iowans today possess the skills and credentials required for the majority of jobs in the state’s labor market.