Governor Kim Reynolds was in Pella Tuesday morning to discuss the new apprenticeship program at the Career Academy of Pella.

Reynolds says the model including a partnership between the school district, DMACC, Vermeer Corporation, and the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council serves as an example of the possibilities in getting students prepared for the workforce.

“This employer-driven model helps students gain valuable skills and pursue outstanding career opportunities in Iowa, while helping businesses hire the skilled workers they need,” Reynolds said in a statement.

Pella High School Principal Eric Nelson tells KNIA/KRLS News the apprenticeship opportunities will expand as well, with plans being developed with other manufacturers as well as in the healthcare, culinary arts, and engineering fields. The Pella Community School District and Vermeer worked with numerous state and federal agencies to develop a “playbook” for other districts to model programs after. Other apprenticeship programs at the Career Academy of Pella are being developed with Pella Corporation, Weiler, PPI, and Co-Line, who all also contributed to the plan.

Charles Vander Velden is the first student to enroll next academic year in a welding apprenticeship program, and started working at Vermeer Corporation this week. He is considered an employee, and is taking classes through Pella High School and DMACC while he earns experience and a salary.

Hear more about the Governor’s visit to the Career Academy of Pella on today’s Let’s Talk Pella.