DES MOINES, IOWA (February 23, 2021) — Governor Kim Reynolds announced applications are now open for the Future Ready Iowa Summer Youth Internship Pilot Program Grant, a funding opportunity to provide high-school youth with internship opportunities that allow them to explore and prepare for high-demand careers, to gain work experience, and to develop personal attributes necessary to succeed in the workplace. Funding priority will be given to programs providing internships to high-school youth who are at risk of not graduating, who are from low-income households, who are from communities under-represented in the Iowa workforce, or who otherwise face barriers to success and upward-mobility in the labor market. Employers, non-profits, educational institutions, and community groups are encouraged to apply for the grant, which will fund projects focused on helping local youth build key workforce skills. A total of $290,000 is available to support the Summer Youth Internship Pilot Program projects. Applications must be submitted through IowaGrants.gov by March 25, 2021.

“Now more than ever, we need to ensure students have every opportunity to explore and prepare for high-demand careers," said Gov Reynolds. “Through the Future Ready Iowa Summer Youth Intern Programs students gain valuable knowledge in industries and occupations they may not otherwise get to explore. In addition to our students’ career development, Iowa employers are making connections with a future workforce."

Last year, 94 youth participated in four summer-internship programs. The programs must be designed to last at least six weeks and include developing soft skills and working with or for local employers in high-demand occupations.

“In addition to the creation of internship opportunities for high-school students, the program helps employers engage with their communities and support a pipeline to hire and train local talent," said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development.

Grant funds may be used for services and resources to support costs of program participants, including for example: Internship wages, training resources, transportation of the participants, clothing, program staff time, and indirect costs. Applications can be submitted for the “Future Ready Iowa Summer Youth Internship Pilot Program” Grant through the “Grant Opportunities” tab on www.IowaGrants.gov.

The Summer Youth Internship Pilot Program was created under the Future Ready Iowa Act as a way to develop Iowa’s skilled workforce.  The initiative aims to ensure 70 percent of Iowans in the workforce ages 25-64 have education and training beyond high school by the year 2025.

For more information about Future Ready Iowa, visit www.futurereadyiowa.gov/youth-intern-projects.

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