Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: August 31, 2023
Contact: Jesse Dougherty
Telephone: 515-725-5487

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Reminder: MBI-Works 2023 Endowment Funding Opportunity For Expanding Careers in Construction Open Until September 15
Endowment focused on bringing people into rewarding careers in commercial construction

(DES MOINES) – The 2023 Request for Proposal (RFP) from the MBI-WORKS (Master Builders of Workforce Opportunities Require Knowledge and Skills) Endowment Board is open to schools and non-profit programs across Iowa through Sept. 15, 2023. First announced earlier this summer, the MBI-WORKS Endowment provides resources to complement career education and workforce recruitment into the Iowa commercial construction industry. Interested applicants can view the Request for Proposal on the MBI website.

In total, Master Builders of Iowa (MBI) has committed $5 million toward the establishment of the MBI-WORKS Endowment. Successful recipients of funding will be creative in their approach to increasing the number of Iowans entering the commercial construction workforce and increasing the awareness of the many career opportunities available within the industry. 

In 2022, the Endowment provided $186,050 in funding awards, bringing the overall total to just over $700,000 awarded over the past four years. Recent recipients of funds include:

  1. $76,050 awarded to a YMCA Career Center in Forest City, which partnered with a contractor to remodel a storage space and turn it into an after-school/summer program to engage K-8 students with experience in the skilled trades. 
  2. $30,000 awarded to Northeast Iowa Community College to develop a virtual reality program that offers a cost-effective solution to accurately portray construction job environments, on-the-job experience, and outlining pathways for students. 
  3. $30,000 awarded to Southeast Polk Community School District to update and modernize their lab space with two CNC machines that students can utilize. 
  4. $25,500 awarded to a Delaware County foundation and a school district to create an interactive bricklaying experience. 

β€œThe MBI-WORKS Endowment continues to fund opportunities that create the key connection point between Iowans and meaningful careers in commercial construction,” said Beth Townsend, Executive Director of Iowa Workforce Development and MBI-WORKS Endowment Board member. β€œThe Endowment recognizes that creating new experiences is critical to creating new pipelines that will drive future economic growth. I encourage all eligible applicants to consider applying for this wonderful opportunity.”

Application Process:

  • On the Master Builders of Iowa website, you’ll find a link to the Request for Proposal
  • The Board of Directors of the Endowment, made up of 11 people both in and out of the industry, will accept proposals and eventually provide funding for those that best fit the mission of the Endowment.
  • Successful Endowment recipients MUST partner on a proposal with an MBI member and be a 501c3 or qualifying public school district in order to accept funding.  For questions and assistance with finding an MBI member partner, please contact Adam Dobraska at
  • Applications will close at 4 p.m. on Sept. 15, 2023. 
  • The RFP is available through MBI’s website at