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Branstad, Reynolds Announce Governor’s 2016 Future Ready Iowa Summit
Future Ready Iowa Summit comes on the heels of the Governor’s Condition of the State mention
(DES MOINES) – Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds at their Monday morning press conference today announced they will host the Governor’s 2016 Future Ready Iowa Summit on Tuesday, April 19, at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines. The purpose of the summit is to create a statewide conversation about how to close the skills gap, one of the biggest challenges Iowa faces. It’s critical to build on efforts already under way to assure that students and workers have the career opportunities they deserve, and business and industry can hire the skilled employees they need.
The all-day summit is open to the public, with space for about 1,000. Branstad and Reynolds hope to attract a broad cross section of Iowans, including business, labor and nonprofit leaders; educators, students and parents; and state and local policy makers. The summit website, which includes information on how to register, launched today at:https://futurereadyiowa.gov.
“Lt. Governor Reynolds and I travel to all 99 counties each year, and employers regularly tell us that it’s hard to find enough workers with the right skills,” said Branstad. “Job creation continues to be a top priority, but we also have to be sure Iowans have the skills needed to fill those jobs.”
“It particularly important that we focus on science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – skills,” said Reynolds, who is co-chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. “STEM careers are among the fastest-growing and best-paying, and demand for STEM skills crosses many sectors: agribusiness, advanced manufacturing, finance and insurance, and biosciences.”
The keynote speaker for the summit is Andreas Schleicher, a global expert on education and skills at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Other featured speakers include Jamie Merisotis, president of the Lumina Foundation, Mary Andringa, chair of the board of Vermeer Corp., and Byron Auguste, co-founder of Opportunity@Work. Students, educators, business and labor leaders, and entrepreneurs from around the state and nation are among other speakers and panelists. Audience questions and answers will wrap up each session.
Marshalltown Community School District elementary art teacher Maggie Parks has been selected to receive the 2016 “Excellence in PK-12 Art Education Award” from the United States Society for Education through Art. Parks teaches at Fisher Elementary School and Woodbury Elementary School and has worked for the district for 18 years. “I am thrilled to be getting this,” Parks said. “I was honored just to be nominated.” In the notification, the USSEA said it is recognizing Parks for her leadership in, and commitment to, multicultural and cross-cultural strategies in her schools and community and her effort to build respect for human dignity and diversity through art. “I implement that in my teaching,” Parks said. Parks was nominated for the award by Dr. Barbara Caldwell, Associate Professor at the College of Art and Design at Iowa State University. “A generous and caring spirit, Margaret shares her passion for meaningful art education and deep respect for human and artistic diversity with the many students, professional organizations and communities she serves,” Caldwell wrote as part of the nomination letter. Parks said the notice of her work planning a statewide art conference helped her land this award. Parks will receive the award on March 18 during the National Art Education Association Convention in Chicago. Parks received the Art Teacher of the Year award from the Art Educators of Iowa in 2010 and has received several other awards and accolades during her 25-year teaching career.