The STEM Education + Workplace Partnerships: Governor's 2019 Future Ready Iowa Summit brought together leaders from across the state to discuss innovative education-workplace partnerships emerging across Iowa.
 
The day was spent profiling pioneers such as Accenture’s senior managing director, Pallavi Verma, as well as retired NASA astronaut and Iowa native, Peggy Whitson, to equip invitees -- leaders from business and industry, education, nonprofits, elected officials, students and others -- to enact or expand upon early successes that dot the state.
 
“If you are afraid of failure, you will never succeed. Help students find their passion; create plans to make it happen,” said Peggy Whitson, keynote, retired NASA astronaut and Iowa native.
 
Eight general sessions were offered to hear from on-the-ground panelists and speakers from around the state focused on overcoming obstacles and the "How To" advice on bridging the realms of business and education. Attendees felt inspired about the future readiness of Iowa and enjoyed hearing from those who are the boots on the ground in facilitating work-based learning opportunities.
 
Twenty models across the spectrum were showcased, including rural and urban, elementary and secondary, technical and pre-professional, public and private, autonomous and collaborative, global companies and local employers.  
 
“There are unlimited opportunities in Iowa for Iowans willing to obtain training and develop new skill sets. The future of Iowa is STEM,” Governor Kim Reynolds stated during her closing remarks at the Summit.
 
With over 1,000 seats sold, all attendees were charged by Governor Kim Reynolds to bring home the take aways and start implementing them in their communities today. Such a timely message with the 2019-2020 request for proposals for our STEM BEST Program to bring business and education together and grow our workforce and increase economic development in Iowa.