Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, alongside representatives of Vermeer Corporation, the Career Academy of Pella and Des Moines Area Community College, introduced the High School Registered Apprenticeship Playbook in Pella Tuesday. The playbook was developed to help guide Iowa employers, high schools and students through the process of implementing a Registered Apprenticeship program in their local community.


“The combination of classroom instruction with on-the-job experience through Registered Apprenticeships takes learning to a new level,” Gov. Reynolds said. “This employer-driven model helps students gain valuable skills and pursue outstanding career opportunities in Iowa, while helping businesses hire the skilled workers they need. The playbook will accelerate this effort in communities across the state in keeping with the Future Ready Iowa goal of 70 percent of our workforce having education or training beyond high school by the year 2025.”


“The playbook provides detailed steps for employers, schools and students from freshman through senior year of high school and beyond,” Lt. Gov. Gregg said. “It recognizes the problem – a serious shortage of skilled workers for high-demand jobs that pay well – and it proposes a solution: finding better ways to prepare the workforce for those great careers.”


“Vermeer is pleased to participate in this Registered Apprenticeship pilot program. We are excited about the opportunity it provides students and local manufacturers. This valuable work will also serve as a template for other careers and regions, addressing a variety of workforce needs across Iowa,” Mary Andringa, chair of the board of Vermeer Corporation, said.


Vermeer Corporation, the Career Academy of Pella, the U.S. Department of Labor and Des Moines Area Community College worked together to offer a local welding Registered Apprenticeship program beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year.


“Thank you for building this Registered Apprenticeship. I prefer to work and learn with my hands, so I look forward to this program and starting down my career path. I hope other students will also take advantage of this great opportunity right here in Iowa,” Charles Vander Velden, a Pella High School senior and the first apprentice in the program, said.


Vermeer Corporation and the Career Academy of Pella led development of the playbook, in coordination with the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Future Ready Iowa, the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship in Iowa and Des Moines Area Community College, and in consultation with other regional employers, school districts and state agencies. The playbook can be found at www.IowaSTEM.gov/Playbook.