Employer-Educator Summit will discuss how to teach skills needed in the workforce


More than 220 employers, educators and service providers will gather at the Templeton Center in Templeton Thursday for an Employer – Educator Summit organized by Midwest Partnership and Iowa Workforce Development.

Statistics show that 50 percent of Iowa’s jobs require workers with “middle skills,” but only 33 percent of the workforce has those skills. The summit will provide an opportunity for educators, employers, workforce development professionals and economic developers to learn more about the middle skills gap and how the education system and the business community can work together to develop citizens who possess the right skills for our changing society.

Participants will hear from 16 presenters including Iowa Economic Development Authority director Deborah Durham, Iowa Workforce Development director Beth Tounsend, and Todd Spencer and Elizabeth Waigand of IowaWORKS.

Jim Ober of Scranton Manufacturing will share the story of his company employing a teacher over the summer in hopes that the teacher would promote the business and career field to his students.

Participants will also receive information about the Waukee APEX, a program that draws on the expertise of business partners to bring real world application into the comprehensive high school experience. At Waukee High School, through inquiry-based learning and authentic projects and experiences, students add value to business partners while exploring interests and career possibilities identified by economic trends.

A follow-up to that session will discuss the resources and organizations needed in other communities to implement a program similar to the Waukee APEX program.

Ken Paxton, Greene County Development Corp executive director, will provide the final summit summary and challenge at the end of the day.


Courtesy of Greene County News, 9/16/15.

keynote speaker Debi Durham Employer Educator Summit Jim Ober Ken Paxton

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