DES MOINES, IA - Grand View University's Jacobson Institute unveiled an ambitious new training partnership aimed at bolstering Iowa's tech talent pipeline and supporting the state's rapidly growing tech industry. Powered by the innovative tech workforce platform SkillStorm, this initiative seeks to provide employers in Iowa and beyond with access to a vast pool of qualified tech talent while also offering opportunities to upskill their current workforce.
Dr. Lynn Marie Burks, Executive Director of the Jacobson Institute, expressed enthusiasm for the program's potential impact, stating, "The Jacobson Institute is driving a new era of tech talent development in Iowa and beyond. Through this transformative partnership, we're providing cutting-edge tech training and certifications that give Iowa businesses a new resource to advance their employees' skills, while also laying the groundwork for sustained economic growth and innovation, both regionally and nationally."
Iowa is rapidly emerging as a thriving tech industry hub, affectionately referred to as the "Silicon Prairie." The state's pro-business environment, low cost of operations, and renowned educational institutions have attracted numerous tech companies, including John Deere, Workiva, Inc, and Collins Aerospace, as well as a host of start-ups in various tech sectors such as agricultural tech, fintech, health technology, and software development. This surge in tech-driven companies has led to an increased demand for highly skilled tech professionals across Iowa.
To address these demands, the Jacobson Institute has prioritized skills-first learning, emphasizing the most pressing talent needs of businesses. This latest partnership with SkillStorm further enhances the institute's track record of innovative collaborations, aimed at helping regional employers equip their workforce with the most in-demand skills of the current job market.
Through SkillStorm's platform, the Jacobson Institute will offer an array of courses designed to prepare participants for certifications in various tech domains, including AWS, Salesforce, CompTIA, Appian, and Pega. These certifications will enable employers to keep pace with the ever-accelerating technological advancements by providing their existing workforce with training in high-demand tech skills while also nurturing the next generation of qualified tech professionals.
Joe Mitchell, COO at SkillStorm, emphasized the significance of building a resilient pipeline of skilled tech talent to elevate the Midwest's tech industry on a national scale, stating, "The Midwest, with Iowa at its center, is poised to become the next frontier in the tech industry nationwide, so it is critical to build a resilient pipeline of skilled talent capable of meeting both current and future employer demands."
SkillStorm's approach involves uniting Fortune 500 employers, universities, and government agencies to shape a highly skilled tech workforce of the future. Through strategic partnerships with platforms like Pega, Salesforce, and ServiceNow, SkillStorm empowers working learners and aspiring tech experts to acquire in-demand skills and earn industry-recognized certifications, fostering competitiveness in an increasingly dynamic economy. The organization believes that closing skill gaps and enhancing economic mobility are interconnected goals and that innovative training methods can effectively expand the pool of skilled tech talent while creating new pathways to opportunity.
The Jacobson Institute, housed within Grand View University, has been at the forefront of education system improvement since its establishment in 2008. Recently, the institute has renewed its focus to meet the workforce needs of 2030 and beyond, acting as a global workbench for the future and prioritizing equipping learners of all levels with the right skills at the right time, ultimately enhancing career outcomes and social mobility.
Grand View University, founded in 1896, offers a high-quality education to a diverse student body, emphasizing a career-oriented, liberal arts-grounded curriculum in Des Moines, Iowa. With approximately 2,000 students enrolled in 35 undergraduate and eight graduate programs, Grand View provides a winning combination of top-notch programs, experienced professors, and a supportive environment for personal growth.
The partnership between Grand View University's Jacobson Institute and SkillStorm holds the promise of nurturing a skilled and future-proof tech workforce in Iowa, propelling the state's tech industry to new heights and contributing to the regional and national innovation landscape.