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Workplace Learning Connection Sees Increase in Services, Requesting Increase in Funding

Posted: Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 at 6:26 am
Author: Sally Y. Hart - KCII News

Following an increase in services and uncertain state funding the Workplace Learning Connection is asking for an increase in their budget request from their seven county boards of supervisors.

In the past the request had been based at five-cents per capita and now it is at 10-cents per capita, which equals $2,224.70 for Washington County. Laurie Worden with Workplace Learning Connection explained the funding, “We receive a small portion of our overall funding from Kirkwood Community College, of which we’re a department of. The vast majority of our funding, as you can see on the inside cover of our inside cover of our annual report, is derived from soft money, so it’s grant funded. Perkins, which is a federal grant, the Iowa Intermediary Network, and Workforce Training and Economic Development dollars, the last two of which will definitely be challenged this spring in the legislature.”

Worden said they’ve been seeing increases in Washington County in the number of students served, “Workplace Learning Connection is really on the move in Washington County with significant increases from FY16 to FY17. A 68% increase in career events, and then the number of students actually involved in those events from FY16 to FY17 was an 82% increase, and we’re seeing significant engagement from our Washington County businesses.” The program helps arrange job shadows, internships, and career events for students in the 96 schools they serve.

Washington County Economic Development director Ed Raber explained Workplace Learning Connection’s services are not available elsewhere in the state, they’re helping people who grow up here find opportunity here.