ICR Future is a coalition of schools, organizations, and employers working together to
develop the future workforce in Iowa City-Cedar Rapids Region (ICR).
October 2018
The Career Connected Learning Coalition is excited to announce our goals! You will see below that the working groups have established goals and metrics designed to build a talent pipeline for ICR employers. To support this work and coalition goals, a new website will be launching in November to serve as a career-connected learning hub for the region. The site, developed for students, educators, and employers, will include information on career pathways, high-demand careers in ICR, work-based learning opportunities, and so much more!

As the collaborative efforts of ICR Future build, I am continually inspired by the great things happening in education throughout our region. This month I had the opportunity to attend the Johnson County STEM Festival where nearly 2000 students and parents were exposed to STEM careers and experiential learning. My own 12 year old son Jack learned about careers in welding, automotive, microbiology, solar energy, construction, medical technology, computer programming and medical technology in just over an hour. A special thank you to event organizer Kristine Bullock, who serves as the Southeast Iowa Regional STEM Manager, and to all the great businesses and partners including Workplace Learning Connection, Kirkwood Community College, and the University of Iowa for participating. The message to these students was that the community believes in them and their future. 

The video below reminds us that teachers are amazing and together we can be louder. Thank you to all the great partners in this work. Together we can do amazing things. 
If you are interested in joining the ICR Future Coalition or would like more details, please contact me at Kmoreland@icriowa.org .


Kate Moreland
Director of Career Development

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”   WB Yeats
ICR FUTURE 2020 Goals
Computer Science
Led by:
IT Sector Board co-chairs leaders Steven Davis of Bio::Neos and Todd Chamberlain of Medblox along with facilitator Gary Vogt of Kirkwood

Did You Know? Iowa has 4000+ computing jobs and Iowa had only 364 computer science graduates in 2015; only 14% were female.

Increase the number of middle and high teachers who complete training in computational thinking and computer science.
(partners: NewBoCo, GWAEA, UNI, University of Iowa)

Increase the number of middle and high school students who take a computer science class.

Increase the number of middle and high school students who are explore to computer science through an in-school activity or program.
Career Exploration
Led by:
Paul Hayes, Future Ready Learning Facilitator for Cedar Rapids Schools; and Erin Kurt, Vice President of District Operations for Junior Achievement

Did You Know? All school districts throughout Iowa are required to review their Career and Academic Plans over the next 3 years to increase career connected learning?

Build a career exploration framework based on best practices that every school can leverage.

Help high schools transition to a career pathways program of studies. 
Work-Based Learning
Led by:
Laurie Worden, Workplace Learning Connection, Kirkwood Community College

Did You Know? out of nearly 9,000 educators in the region less than 50 teachers a year are participating in externships?

Did you know ? out of 16,600 junior and senior high school students in our region, 3,400 participated in job shadows and internships in 2017/18?

Increase participation in WLC internships by 10% and WLC job shadows by 20%.

Increase the # of K-12 educators engaged in Teacher Externships, both paid and unpaid, by 100%.

Increase Business Participation in 20% for WBL experiences to benefit AREA 10 students and educators by 20%.
Problem-Based Learning and 21st Century Skills
Led by:
Dawn Bowlus, U of I Jacobson Institute Director; and Jeremy Burrus Senior Director at ACT; Leslie Flynn, Tippie professor of STEM Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Amanda Zorhne, Iowa BIG

Did You Know? The University of Iowa STEM Innovator® has trained 256 teachers in nine states since 2013, with an estimated impact on nearly 63,000 students and 52 have been from our region?

Increase the number of secondary educators who receive in-depth professional development through UI STEM Innovator, helping them create a community-driven and unique model for innovation and entrepreneurship education.

Increase assessment of 21 st  Century Skills and College and Career Readiness in middle and high school students through implementation of UI STEM Innovator and ACT’s Tessera.

Computer Science Education in Iowa

Iowa has recently increased its efforts to bring computer science courses to K-12 students. NewBoCo is invested in this initiative, and is working to create a more accurate picture of implementation in Iowa schools. To do this, we have created a map and our  DeltaV Code School  students created  a site to share data results  from an ongoing survey for schools to share what, if anything, they are offering for Computer Science. We are publishing this information to celebrate the progress in the state and identify areas that may need additional support to ramp up computer science opportunities.

Feel free to explore the current data, and if you think the information is incorrect, you can fill out the  survey  to update it.
Girls Tech Career Day

The Iowa Tech Chicks are pleased to announce that the sixth annual Girls Tech Career Day will be held downtown Iowa City at MERGE on November 16 th , 2018. 

One of the strategies this year is to expose the girls to more creative aspects of product development. Like previous years, the program will work with the Iowa City Community School District to nominate local girls in grades 5 to 8 who are of a lower socioeconomic status (SES). The event hopes to inspire these girls to find interests inscience and technology through the eyes of area women who are experts in their fields. Student registration has begun.  For additional information on how to support this event.
Jones County Students Explore IT Careers

Workplace Learning Connection , a part of Kirkwood Community College, recently coordinated a cademy students from Kirkwood’s Jones Regional Education Center a visit to CCR (Circle Computer Resources) and Informatics to explore careers in the IT industry.  
"Always exciting to have students at CCR (Circle Computer Resources) learning about the IT Industry and what they want to do for a career in the future! Awesome experience and great questions by this bunch this morning!" - Kirsten Turner, HR Coordinator, CCR
Thank you   Circle Computer Resources (CCR)  and  Informatics, Inc.  for sharing your time and knowledge. Together we are connecting today's students to tomorrow's careers! If your business wants to learn more about how you can engage your future workforce through WLC programs, simply go to their  WLC volunteer page , complete the inquiry and a friendly WLC team member will assist you!
Recruiting Employer Participants for the Summit!

The Iowa City-Cedar Rapids Future Ready Iowa Regional Summit will be held on November 13th from 9am-3pm at the Linn County Regional Center . The summit will bring together key stakeholders in education, business, economic development and community to create local strategies that ensure all Iowans are future ready. The event is currently sold out, but we need more ICR employers to attend to have a balanced group. If you are an employer interested in attending, please contact katherine.pine@iwd.iowa.gov .

To learn more about the future ready study click here .
Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge

Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa is excited to share a new event coming to the Corridor this December! The inaugural JA Stock Market Challenge will take place on Thursday, December 6, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Cedar Rapids. The JA Stock Market Challenge is a technology-based simulation of the stock market in which every 60 seconds represents a day of “Wall Street” trading. Beginning with a hypothetical account balance of $500,000, the stakes are high and the competition is fierce! No investment experience is needed. All proceeds from the event will support Junior Achievement’s career readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy educational programs in the Corridor.
Corporate funders will sponsor their own four-person team as well as a four-person student team for $750. Attendees will enjoy great food and beverages, networking, and of course, intense competition! Approximately 150 high school students will complete five in-school lessons on investments before competing in teams of four at the student JA Stock Market Challenge earlier in the day from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., allowing the students to experience all the rush with none of the risk.


Benton Development Group
Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance
Future Ready Iowa
Grant Wood Area Education Agency
Iowa Big
Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce
Iowa City Area Development Group
Iowa Department of Education
Iowa County Economic Development Commission
Iowa Workforce Development
Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa
Kirkwood Community College
Kirkwood Industry Sector Boards
Kirkwood Workplace Learning Connection
MEDCO Community Promise
Regional Career and Technical Education Planning Partnership
School Districts throughout ICR
Southeast Iowa STEM Region
Stairway 5
STEM Innovator
University of Iowa Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship

To join our coalition, contact Kate Moreland at kmoreland@icriowa.org.
ICR IOWA is a joint venture between the  Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance  and the  Iowa City Area Development Group .

Our mission is to accelerate high-quality job growth and capital investment
in our seven-county region.