State awards $4 million for rural career academies


By Katie Akin, Iowa Capital Dispatch

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Monday that four Iowa community colleges will receive $1 million grants to expand their school district partnerships.

The grants come from the Career Academy Incentive Fund, a state fund created in 2019 to extend technical training and dual enrollment programs to Iowa high schoolers. Des Moines Area Community College, Iowa Lakes Community College, Iowa Western Community College and North Iowa Area Community College each received a $1 million grant to establish new career academy centers.


“I commend DMACC, Iowa Lakes, Iowa Western and NIACC for their leadership in growing career academies which inspire and develop some of Iowa’s most valuable workers beginning at a young age and, at the same time, expands opportunities to meet the needs of students, families, schools and employers in their local communities,” Reynolds said in a news release.

The grants will be used for new centers in Templeton, Spirit Lake, Charles City and Missouri Valley. Each center will serve several nearby school districts.

Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo thanked the community colleges for expanding their career academy programming.


“These innovative partnerships are vital to introducing more students to high-demand fields in programs where they can earn industry-recognized credentials and college credit,” Lebo said.

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