Above: (L to R) Ginny Shindelar, VP of Education and Training shows Governor Reynolds and others around the new Virtual Reality Construction Careers Education Trailer. Governor Kim Reynolds tours the Apprenticeship Training Center with level one electrical instructor Dan Weekly, Ginny Shindelar and Mike Palmer, during a grand opening of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa Training Facility.

New Apprenticeship Training Center Opens in Hiawatha
Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa, state’s largest apprenticeship training organization, focused on producing more skilled Iowa workers

HIAWATHA, Iowa (Oct. 11, 2017) — Tuesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds joined apprentices, instructors and Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Iowa members for the grand opening of the new training center located in Hiawatha.

ABC’s 10,155-square-foot facility will expand access for more students to receive hands-on learning as apprentices. ABC is working hard to address the worker shortage and curb the skills gap through craft training and safety training programs. The organization also unveiled a virtual reality trailer, which will be used at job fairs and high schools throughout the state to showcase real-world experiences in the trades.

“There has never been greater opportunity for those seeking a rewarding path in a skilled trade,” said Ginny Shindelar, ABC’s vice president of education and training services. “Our apprentices enter the workforce right away, get paid to learn career skills on the job and even work toward owning a business.”

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ administration has placed a significant emphasis on overcoming the workforce crisis and closing Iowa’s skills gap. She was on hand to tour the new training center and virtual reality trailer and praised ABC’s efforts.

“Employers across the state routinely say it’s hard to hire enough skilled workers. But with organizations like ABC and this training center, we will overcome the skills gap and give more Iowans an opportunity for a well-paying career, not just a job,” said Reynolds.

Last year, ABC of Iowa trained over 1,300 apprentices. For the current year, 1,100 are enrolled. Coupled with those expected to register for the winter term, the organization anticipates training over 1,400 apprentices this academic year. ABC’s students learn new skills, get paid to further their career through earn-and-learn programs all without accruing massive student loan debt.

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Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa is a non-profit construction trade association that boasts the largest apprenticeship-training program in the state. With more than 540 member firms statewide, ABC fosters the principles of freedom of choice through the merit construction philosophy. ABC members build commercial buildings, industrial plants, municipal and public works projects, roads and highways, homes and provide an array of construction services. For more information, visit www.abciowa.org.