January 26, 2019 at 9:55 AM
IOWA CITY-CEDAR RAPIDS – On Thursday, the ICR Future Coalition announced the launch of a new campaign to create 650 new high school job shadow and internship opportunities in Iowa City-Cedar Rapids (ICR) by the end of 2020.
The campaign is one of the coalition’s core goals towards building the future workforce in our seven-county region.
“ICR employers are struggling to find their needed workforce,” said Jennifer Daly, President and CEO for ICR IOWA, in a press release. “We must work together to expose students in our region at an earlier age to high-demand careers and the educational pathway required to pursue those careers if we want to reduce our workforce challenges in the future.”
Currently, 1 out of 4 high school students in ICR has the opportunity to complete a job shadow or internship. The coalition wants to increase that number, especially in the region’s high-demand career occupations including STEM, healthcare, and education.
“Students often pursue careers they can see and experience,” said Kate Moreland, Director of Career Development for ICR IOWA. “Exposing high schoolers to high-demand career paths and regional employers can help increase the number of students who choose those paths for their future and also choose to stay and work in ICR IOWA as adults.”
The Workplace Learning Connection, part of Kirkwood Community College and a member of the ICR Future Coalition, facilitates the placement of the majority of high school students who currently complete a job shadow or internship opportunity in ICR. They believe the campaign will increase the number of employers offering opportunities and also student requests for placement.
_Our region is uniquely positioned to develop a talented future ready workforce which affords our K-12 students a competitive advantage,” said Laurie Worden, Associate Director for the Workplace Learning Connection. “Increasing job shadows and internships is key to preparing our talent pipeline and helping connect them to regional businesses and high demand careers. Workplace Learning Connection is recognized as a best practice in the state for providing these experiences and we look forward to increased business support to reach more students.”
The ICR Future Coalition is asking employers who are interested in offering new or expanded high school internship or job shadow opportunities to go to ICRFuture.org for more information. Employers who register will be recognized in ICR IOWA publications for their support in helping our region develop a future workforce. They will also receive a window cling to let others know of their engagement in this critical workforce initiative.
High school students who are interested in securing a job shadow or internship opportunity should contact their school counselor. Most high schools in ICR IOWA provide information on job shadow and internship opportunities directly to students during their sophomore, junior, and senior years.
ICR IOWA is a joint venture between the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and the Iowa City Area Development Group. Our mission is to accelerate high-quality job growth and capital investment in our seven-county region.