Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: March 8, 2023
Contact: Jesse Dougherty
Telephone: 515-725-5487

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Iowa Grant Will Help Employers Lower Language Barriers in the Workplace
Funding will improve communication on the job and support recruitment and retention efforts

DES MOINES, IOWA – Governor Kim Reynolds today announced new grant awards targeted at reducing language barriers within Iowa’s workforce. The new Iowa Language Learners Job Training Program will provide $357,470 in funding to support meaningful language programs at 11 different Iowa employers.

In total, the employer grants being awarded today will support 465 program participants by helping their companies increase dual language instruction, expand communication with customers, and boost recruitment and retention efforts with new staff.

“Over the last two years, Iowa has put a significant focus on identifying remaining workforce barriers and overcoming them with innovative solutions,” said Gov. Reynolds. “I applaud the leadership of today’s awardees. These state grants are about tackling language barriers so we can help businesses better communicate with employees, serve more of their customers, and expand Iowa’s workforce into new populations.”

Today’s grant awardees include:

  • ALPLA, Inc., Iowa City
  • A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co., Dubuque
  • Catalyst Project Management, Iowa City
  • Country Maid, West Bend
  • Heritage Building Maintenance, Des Moines
  • Interstates, Sioux Center
  • Ironwood 53 Design and Build, Rock Valley
  • Neumann Monson, Iowa City
  • New Hope Village, Inc., Carroll
  • Shearer's Foods, Burlington
  • VGM Group, Waterloo

For more information on the grant, visit this link.

The new grant funding will help sponsor language programs in Spanish, English, and Mandarin. Employers were required to provide plans for sustaining each language program, and courses were encouraged to be conducted onsite or include several options for flexible transportation offsite.  

“Communication is always key to success in the workforce, but its importance is even more critical for growth and overall recruitment today,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Today’s grants are an important recognition of a workforce barrier that Iowa employers can overcome with the right support.”