Iowa-Advanced Manufacturing (I-AM)

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Iowa-Advanced Manufacturing (I-AM): A Talent Success Strategy for the 21st Century Workforce received a $12,951,165 Round Two TAACCCT award to respond to advanced manufacturing employer demands for skilled workers by developing/expanding the number and types of credentials (e.g., credit/non-credit certificates, diploma, Associate’s degree) offered within seven new/expanded signature programs: Welding Technician/Technology, Machining/CNC/Tool and Die, Industrial Maintenance, Industrial Automation, Manufacturing Technician/Technology, Robotics, and Transportation and Logistics to students interested in expanding their education and skill set.

Defining Features of Project:

  • Many of the signature programs developed by this project aligned their curricula with third party certifications (e.g., American Welding Society [AWS], National Institute for Metalworking Skills [NIMS], Certified Production Technician [CPT]) that assess whether students have met the requirements to work in their respective fields enabling them to obtain certifications locally.
  • Providing third party certifications (e.g., AWS, NIMS) in Iowa is notable because many of these were previously available only at locations out of state, presenting potential hardships for students, employees, and employers.
  • Implementation of the I-AM program has helped enhance student services (e.g., intensive/intrusive advising, career navigation, third party certifications, Credit for Prior Learning), increased visibility of the program through statewide and regional marketing efforts, and increased the number and increased the number of students participating in the various advanced manufacturing signature programs.

Project and Outcome Report
ProjectIowa-Advanced Manufacturing (I-AM)
InstitutionDes Moines Area Community College
Outcome Report(I-AM) Final External Evaluation Report
Industry SectorManufacturing
Grant Completed9/30/16
Grant Amount$12,951,165
State Profile ReportIowa State Profile Report
Participation Metrics
Participation2,728 participants
Short-certificates earned (1 year or less)1,278 students
Long certificates earned (1 year or more)655 students
Two-year degrees earned222 students
Employment*1,479 employed after completion

*= As of the time of the Final Evaluation Report
Source: Grantee’s Third-Party Evaluation

It may be known as an agriculture state, but manufacturing is the biggest contributor to Iowa’s gross domestic product. As part of the TAACCCT Grant Program, the Iowa-Advanced Manufacturing (I-AM) Consortium was created to fill the state’s manufacturing skills gap, enabling Iowans to elevate its industry, its communities, and one another. “Iowa has made its mark in advanced manufacturing and I am so proud that I can go and I can stand up and say very loudly, Iowa is doing the right thing and Iowa is making a difference.” — Stephanie

“When you’re being hunted by drug cartels, a career in welding is the last thing on your mind. But that didn’t stop Elmer. After escaping South America, Elmer found a new future at Iowa Central Community College. He is now living the American Dream in welding.”

“Tyler wanted more. He turned his entrepreneurial drive into a career in manufacturing. Given his age, some were skeptical of his entrepreneurial drive. But that skepticism faded fast after he graduated the Machine Technology program at Indian Hills Community College. Now, he’s a manager at an enormous manufacturing operation.”

 “I believe you can learn from my journey that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. If there is something that you want, you have to reach out and take it and pursue it because nothing is going to be handed to you.” — Robert