Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: June 28, 2024
Contact: Jesse Dougherty
Telephone: 515-725-5487

Printer Friendly Version (PDF)

Iowa Officially Recognized as State Apprenticeship Agency
Iowa Office of Apprenticeship will oversee apprenticeship programs and drive innovation across state. 

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) is announcing today that the Iowa Office of Apprenticeship (IOA) has been officially recognized as a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA) by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

The new office is now charged with overseeing and administering all Registered Apprenticeship (RA) programs in the state. The IOA’s mission also will center around expanding available programs for apprentices by focusing on new innovation and efficiencies that help Iowa build the next generation of its workforce.

Gov. Kim Reynolds recently signed SF 2411 into law to increase work-based learning programs across Iowa and solidify language necessary to create the IOA. Following passage, U.S. DOL officially recognized the office and its staff, which will fall under the Business Engagement Division at IWD. The IOA will act as a statewide entity that builds on Iowa’s success with RA programs to create opportunities in more occupations and employers than ever before. In the coming days, IOA staff will be reaching out directly to program sponsors and employers to lay out next steps and document the ways that the new office will support them.

In Federal Fiscal Year 2023, Iowa had over 9,950 apprentices, 957 active programs, and over 2,100 employers engaged throughout the state. State officials hope to expand growth with the establishment of the IOA. Iowa joins nearly 30 states across the country in becoming an SAA state.

“The Iowa Office of Apprenticeship is exactly what our state needs to help maintain long-term viability of this valuable training model. Having an office housed at IWD grants us better access to vital apprenticeship data and helps make creation and administration of these programs more efficient for employers,” said Beth Townsend, Executive Director of Iowa Workforce Development. "The Iowa Office of Apprenticeship will help employers design programs that best meet their needs and connect them to Iowans looking for an earn and learn model of upskilling.”

This development also supports Iowa’s overall mission to increase work-based learning experiences. Effective immediately, the Iowa Office of Apprenticeship (IOA) will assume the following roles and responsibilities, which include:

  • Overseeing and registering all Registered Apprenticeship (RA) Programs in Iowa. Programs will still abide by the same approved federal standards as before, but will work exclusively through the IOA.
  • Serving as the central point of contact for all RA program sponsors, school districts, and apprentices. IOA staff will be able to provide more direct technical assistance and program guidance, including innovative approaches that help programs succeed.
  • Ensuring that the mission of RA programs is directly aligned with the state’s workforce strategies, to help attract and retain talent and meet the needs of the state’s critical occupations. 

IOA staff will be connecting with RA program sponsors in the coming days to provide communications and materials that support the state’s transition to an SAA. Sponsors, apprentices, and members of the public can learn more about the IOA at 

Dane Sulentic will serve as State Apprenticeship Director and will oversee eight staff under the IOA. Questions about the IOA or how to launch a new apprenticeship can be directed to