PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - September 23, 2020 


U.S. COVID-19 deaths double in last 4 months as total tops 200,000; poll workers in short supply as Texas registers a record number of voters.


2020Talks - September 23, 2020 


Mitt Romney supports putting a Supreme Court nominee to a vote. Plus, $20 million raised so far to pay court fees, fines for returning citizens to vote after being incarcerated.

Closing the Skills Gap: Iowa Businesses Help Plan College Courses

PHOTO: Community colleges across Iowa are working with local businesses to help set up fast-tracked courses that help close the gap between applicants' job skills versus those required by employers. Photo credit: Sara Chicad
PHOTO: Community colleges across Iowa are working with local businesses to help set up fast-tracked courses that help close the gap between applicants' job skills versus those required by employers. Photo credit: Sara Chicad
January 15, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa - A new focus at community colleges across Iowa is trying to bridge the gap between the skills of job-seekers and the skills needed by employers - and the goal is a quick turnaround.

Mike Hoffman, executive director of continuing eduction at Des Moines Area Community College, said the school will announce plans today to put more funding into its Workforce Training Academy.

"What that is, is a short-term certificate program for students to upgrade their skills in several different areas - in IT, manufacturing, transportation and healthcare," he said. "It's short-term training so we can get students into entry-level positions and help people that are unemployed or underemployed make themselves more marketable immediately."

For this effort, he said, DMACC is joining forces with Goodwill Industries, which also will work with the Academy graduates on skills such as resume-writing and interviewing to help with job placement.

In Iowa, the unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest point in more than five years and there are around 25,000 current job vacancies. But Hoffman says the abilities of those looking for jobs often don't line up with what employers want.

"There's a real skill gap right now, where the employers are coming to us and saying, 'We need some people trained in specific areas.' And so, what we're trying to do is get them the training that businesses are needing, and we actually set up our curriculum based on employers and their collaboration, and they help us write the curriculum for these specific areas," he said. "They're doing this statewide, at all the community colleges."

Once these students have the skills and secure an entry-level position, Hoffman said, they'll be followed up with, possibly to further their education and thus their lifetime job prospects.

The Iowa Workforce Needs Assessment is online at iowaworkforce.org. Information on the Workforce Training Academy is at go.dmacc.edu.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA