In April, the Legislature appropriated $1.2 million for a new program called the Iowa Employer Innovation Fund.  

The program is a grant opportunity for Iowa businesses to expand opportunities for education and training leading to high-demand jobs, the encouragement of leadership and support for regional workforce talent pools throughout Iowa.  

Employers who receive a grant can use the money to help students pay for books, equipment, childcare and other expenses related to for-credit and non-credit post-secondary credentials, including short-term certificates.  

The grant application process is open from June 21 through Aug. 1.  Businesses are encouraged to apply.  

For more information about the program and to apply, visit www.futurereadyiowa.gov/innovation.

Summer food programs available for Iowa families

Thousands of meals for Iowa children in low-income areas at no charge to their families are provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program. 

These meals are intended to replace school meal programs that are unavailable during the summer. 

The federally funded program is administered by the Iowa Department of Education and local sponsors.

The program will operate about 500 meal sites across Iowa from June through August. 

Each site is administered by a local sponsor, including schools, churches, local cities and other private nonprofit community organizations.  

The sites are open to all children ages 18 and under at no charge. No identification or sign-in is required. 

Many sites offer learning and recreational activities for children.

To find a summer meal site near you, visit www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks or call 211 or 1-866-3-HUNGRY, or text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877. Services are available in English and Spanish.

For more information about Iowa’s Summer Food Service Program, visit www.educateiowa.gov/pk-12/nutrition-programs-0.

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