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Gov. Reynolds Releases Guide to Developing Apprenticeships

Katarina Sostaric
Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks at a press conference in Pella Tuesday, June 12, 2018.

Gov. Kim Reynolds released a new "playbook" Tuesday to guide high schools in setting up registered apprenticeship programs with local businesses.

Speaking at the Career Academy of Pella, Reynolds said it will help the state meet its workforce education goals and help businesses fill their need for skilled workers.

"So because of this step-by-step playbook, I'm confident that we'll get more employers and high schools and community colleges across Iowa to work together to start registered apprenticeship programs," Reynolds said.

Pella High School and Vermeer Corporation are starting the first apprenticeship program in welding as part of this effort, beginning in the upcoming school year.

Reynolds said this model can also be expanded to nursing, IT and engineering programs in the future.

She also commented on a judge's recent denial of unemployment benefits for former Iowa Finance Authority director Dave Jamison. Reynolds fired him in March for allegations of sexual harassment.

Reynolds said her office didn't challenge his benefits in the first round of unemployment proceedings because she wanted to maintain the confidentiality that Jamison's accusers had asked for. 

"They made the decision to release a document, and at that point that allowed us to go forward and challenge the unemployment," Reynolds said. "So I don't believe that anybody that's fired for credible allegations of sexual harassment should receive unemployment."

Because the state didn't participate in the first phase of the unemployment process, Jamison collected more than $3,000 in benefits that he doesn't have to pay back.

If the state had opposed Jamison's benefits earlier, the accusers' confidentiality would have likely been protected because initial proceedings are closed to the public.