Telling Iowa’s story at the White House

Gov. Reynolds participates with President Trump in key forum

Keeping our nation’s economy booming is a key goal of President Donald Trump and his administration. Making sure that America’s workforce has the skills and mobility to enable continued economic growth is an important part of the strategy.

With that in mind, the president invited eight governors from across the United States to share their perspectives with him on June 13 at the White House. The Hawkeye State has achieved impressive success in creating job opportunities and developing a business environment that responds to employers’ needs for workers with relevant skills. In view of that remarkable record, Gov. Kim Reynolds was invited to participate in a roundtable discussion with the president. The governors of Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wyoming joined her in this high-level dialogue with Trump.

Reynolds shared with the president and her gubernatorial colleagues some of the approaches that are working here in Iowa.

“Iowa’s strong labor market and low unemployment rate offers a remarkable opportunity to lead the way on initiatives such as Future Ready Iowa and expanded registered apprenticeship programs from high schools to the prison system,” she said.

The governor also pointed with pride to our state’s efforts to make it easier for workers to move to Iowa and quickly find employment in their field. She provided an important example from earlier this year.

“I’m proud that this last legislative session we expanded reciprocal licenses for military spouses and are eager to build on that next year,” Reynolds said, noting that occupational licensing reform will remain on her agenda in the years ahead.

The governor briefed the group on the constellation of projects that are part of the Future Ready Iowa initiative. That project seeks to make sure that our state’s workforce is populated with people who have the skills and talents employers require. It works to link Hawkeye State residents with the training and educational opportunities that will position them to secure jobs that pay well. Reynolds said Iowa’s commitment to Future Ready Iowa illustrates how a state government can help break down barriers that otherwise might prevent potential workers from either entering the workforce or achieving their full potential. The governor said she and Iowa’s lawmakers have made eliminating obstacles to success for workers a top goal.

Reynolds took pride in Iowa’s amazingly low 2.4 percent unemployment rate. She pointed out that it the third lowest among our nation’s states. The governor also shared with the president and the other forum participants that at 69.1 percent Iowa has one of the nation’s highest labor force participation rates.

The Messenger commends Reynolds for sharing Iowa’s success story with the president and the other governors. It’s a record others would be wise to study and emulate. Our governor’s leadership is helping to keep Iowa a not only prosperous but a state others look to for inspiration.