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Branstad Signs Bill To Boost Apprenticeships

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ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) Gov. Terry Branstad has signed a bill that provides increased state funding and coordination for an apprenticeship program to train workers in skilled jobs including those in construction and information technology.

Standing in front of the giant new data center under construction in Altoona in which Facebook is investing nearly $1 billion on Tuesday, Branstad said a skilled workforce is extremely important and in high demand in Iowa. Microsoft and Google also are building data centers in the state.

The bill provides over $3 million for the program which will be administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority. A previous state apprenticeship program received about $1 million in funding.

The bill also provides about $3 million for other job training programs that will continue to be run through community colleges.