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Tool connects student skills, interests to careers in advanced manufacturing

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Iowa Department of Education, in partnership with Elevate Advanced Manufacturing and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, has developed classroom resources to highlight and promote the wide range of career opportunities in Iowa’s advanced manufacturing industry.

“It is important for students to not only be aware of Iowa’s growing industries, but also know what skills and education are required,” said Jeremy Varner, the Department’s division administrator for community colleges and workforce preparation.

The Opportunities in Advanced Manufacturing tool gives students, parents and educators a better understanding of what jobs in the advanced manufacturing industry look like. Matching education and skills with different high-demand jobs that span a wide-range of occupations, the tool shows how career opportunities exist for every type of person, no matter interest or skill.

Manufacturing, which is the process of making products or goods, has progressed in many ways over the past several decades. Now commonly referred to as advanced manufacturing due to the growing use of technology and innovation, the industry seeks highly skilled workers with increased knowledge of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) who are also problem solvers, critical thinkers, strong communicators, and who can work in team environments.

According to Elevate Advanced Manufacturing, the industry accounts for almost 90 percent of Iowa’s exports, contributes $29 billion to the state’s economy, and represents 14 percent of the state’s total employment, placing manufacturers in the top third of employers in Iowa. 

Helping students attain the education and skills required for the jobs of today and tomorrow is integral to the Future Ready Iowa initiative, which calls for 70 percent of Iowans to have education or training beyond high school by 2025. Currently, 58 percent of Iowans have training or education beyond high school.

Similar tools have also been created to highlight other growing industries in the state, including information technology and energy. For more information about these tools and how they can be used in the classroom, contact Joe Collins at or 515-419-5190.

Find educator resources and student activities for inside and outside the classroom on the Elevate Iowa webpage.

Check out the Made in Iowa webpage to get familiar with products that are manufactured in Iowa.

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Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on May 17, 2021 at 1:07pm.