Dubuque employers and organizations on Thursday received more than $210,000 in grants tied to giving residents postsecondary training and education.

The Employer Innovation Fund awards are part of $1.4 million in grants awarded by Gov. Kim Reynolds to groups across the state, according to Iowa Workforce Development.

“Iowa needs innovative ideas to grow our workforce and train the skilled workers who will help create a prosperous future for our industries and state,” Reynolds said in the release. “These awards are quality investments in developing the deep talent pool necessary to keep our economy moving forward.”

Six awards went to Dubuque groups. No awards went to entities elsewhere in Dubuque County nor in Clayton, Delaware, Jackson or Jones counties.

The Dubuque awards and partial project descriptions, from the release, are:


  • Four Mounds Foundation, $50,000 to help 25 people — “The (Build Dubuque) program builds confidence, responsibility, transferable job skills and promotes civic engagement for youth and adults at risk while meeting workforce development needs in Dubuque.”
  • Friends of St. Mary’s, $50,000 to help 54 people — “Steeple Square, in partnership with Northeast Iowa Community College, will offer rotating certificate programs in culinary services, child care and customer service/hospitality using an earn-and-learn model. Participants will be paid a stipend and provided wraparound support during training to ensure participants’ success.”
  • Stonehill Franciscan Services, $46,000 to help 50 people — “Stonehill will support staff in obtaining further education and training while meeting the high demand for health care workers in long-term-care communities. … The program will (offer) the opportunity to be employed while earning CNA certification.”
  • Mercy Health Services-Iowa, $44,760 to help eight people — MercyOne plans to create an accelerated, on-site surgical tech academy to provide effective and efficient, on-the-job training. MercyOne will recruit individuals who currently do not have post-secondary education while filling high-demand positions.”
  • Hills and Dales Child Development Center, $16,165 to help 20 people — “This project will upskill 20 current direct support professionals employed by Hills & Dales as certified medication aides. Many of the employees have not had opportunities to obtain post-secondary education, and the CMA program will provide a first step to further degrees and certificates within the health care industry in high-demand occupations.”
  • Aspire Home Childcare Network, $5,800 to help six people — “This project creates an innovative pathway for low-income parents to obtain required training necessary to become a licensed child development home provider, mentoring and a stipend to begin an in-home child care business.”