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SF 2411 Signed into Law: Work-Based Learning Bill Helps Support Student Success

Work-Based Learning Law

May 16, 2024

After passing through the Iowa House of Representatives and Iowa Senate (72-21 in the House, 33-13 in the Senate.), Governor Kim Reynolds has signed SF 2411 into law. As one of the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s 2024 State Policy Agenda featured priorities, increasing work-based learning programs and policies will help provide solutions to meet local workforce needs and help prepare our next generation of workers and leaders.

Key Highlights About SF 2411

The SF 2411 bill defines work-based learning, adding a definition to code to help provide clarity for educators and businesses who would like to support these opportunities for future talent. Work-based learning is essential to retain talent and keep students in Iowa by connecting students and employers through authentic projects, internships, pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships. More employers are supporting work-based learning efforts and often extending summer internships through the school year, helping to prepare and train potential future employees.

SF 2411 also brings sector partnerships to the local level, ultimately providing flexibility, and drives creative solutions which can be very beneficial in meeting local workforce needs. Additionally, the bill provides educators the opportunity to draw down state funds to support work-based learning experiences in the summer, outside of the regular school year when many of these experiences occur with employers.

Work-Based Learning Benefits

While the DSM community benefits from work-based learning programs creating a more engaged and connected community, it’s a win-win for students and employers, too. Students build connections and skills in a particular career field, while employers gain a younger generation’s perspective, talent to fulfill workforce needs and instructor oversight to help keep students focused on the job.

SF 2411 will help organizations and school districts across DSM connect, identify opportunities and drive success and development in the region.

Next Steps

With the passing of SF 2411, taking advantage of work-based learning opportunities should be a top priority, and expanding collaboration between students and employers will go a long way in building up local talent for DSM businesses. Interested in learning more about work-based learning in the region? Companies can utilize the Work-Based Learning Company Self-Assessment Tool to improve career pathways at their organizations, while students can view work-based learning programs at high schools across the state here. Those interested can also learn more about work-based learning opportunities by connecting with Lexi Shafer, Director of Workforce.

Job opportunities and career resources are abundant in Greater Des Moines (DSM). Whether you're looking to find an internship, a job, develop professionally or grow as a student, we have the resources to help you thrive.

Jenae Sikkink

Jenae Sikkink is the Senior Vice President of Talent Development and Inclusive Strategies at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.