Manchester Hosts Future Ready Iowa Summit

Employers and local officials met in Manchester for a Future Ready Iowa summit on Friday morning.

Around twenty summits are being held around the state this fall to talk about Governor Kim Reynolds’ goal of building a skilled workforce for the future.

Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend:

Townsend says the purpose of this year’s summits is to get employers talking to employers.

At Friday’s summit, West Delaware welding instructor Seth Harms and officials from Paladin, Hendersons and XL Specialized Trailers talked with the audience about their Welding Registered Apprenticeship program. Alex Monaghan with Exide Technologies discussed how her company recently hired employees by traveling to Puerto Rico to recruit workers. And the Good Neighbor Home talked about their partnership with Unlimited Services. Townsend says it was great to see all these partnerships already happening in the Delaware County area.

Northeast Iowa Community College President Dr. Liang Chee Wee says for him, Friday’s summit was really about upskilling people and providing opportunities to everybody.

Dr. Wee believes meeting Future Ready Iowa’s goal of 70 percent of Iowans with post-secondary training or education by 2025 is possible – but it will be a challenge.

He says there are definitely careers that need more skilled workers.

Townsend says everyone who attended Friday’s Future Ready Iowa summit in Manchester was encouraged to keep moving forward.

If you’d like more information on what was discussed Friday or how you can get involved, contact Delaware County Economic Development or visit


photo courtesy of Janelle Tucker/KMCH