Iowa Governor Announces MFG 4.0 Grants and Reforms for Unemployment Insurance
October 22, 2021
Governor Kim Reynolds announced two new programs to address Iowa’s workforce shortage this week. She made this announcement on site at ABI member company Iowa Spring Manufacturing. The grant programs will facilitate the expansion of Manufacturing 4.0. A total of $30 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds will help manufacturers bridge the technological divide in the workplace.
- The first grant opportunity of $5 million will supplement the existing Manufacturing 4.0 plan for small manufacturers (up to 75 employees).
- The second grant opportunity of $25 million will apply to those manufacturers who employ 76-250 employees.
During the same press conference, Iowa Workforce Development announced it is launching a new Reemployment Case Management system to ensure Iowans return to work as quickly as possible. Weekly work search requirements will double from two to four and the number of activities that qualify as a work search will be reduced from 27 to 12. The proposed changes can be implemented without legislative approval, according to IWD.
ABI is very supportive of the announcements and appreciates Governor Reynolds’s support of Iowa manufacturers. Improved workforce policies will allow companies to hire unemployed individuals at a faster pace. Unemployment insurance reform is going to be a top priority for ABI during the 2022 legislative session. You can view the governor’s statement here. Read more from Radio Iowa and The Des Moines Register.