Breaking News
More () »

Workforce Training Academy helping Story County residents find new careers

For eligible workers, there's no cost to participate in the program.

AMES, Iowa — Ever thought about getting into a new line of work? It's a trend we're seeing more and more. In Story County, a new program can help you land that dream job--and they'll even pay you to do it!

If that sounds too good to be true, it isn't. 

The Ames Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Des Moines Area Community College to provide tuition-free courses in certain certifications through the Workforce Training Academy.

Ashley Hostetter recently earned her basic and advanced CNA certifications through the program— she's now working at a local hospital.

"It's led me to a better position, and I'm now making more money than I was before to continue on furthering my studies and career advancement," Hostetter said.

Funding for the project comes from the Story County Board of Supervisors. Aside from covering costs for textbooks and other school expenses, participants actually receive stipends throughout the academy— once when they're halfway through the class, a second when they finish, and a third when they get a job in Story County and keep it for 30 days. 

The program is intended to help address staffing concerns in the area.

RELATED: For 2nd straight month, Americans quit jobs at a record pace

"We are seeing those shortages in the labor pool. And we're also seeing ones that are trying to get back out there, or just don't have those skills to get back into the career," said Nikki Fischer, Director of Workforce Development & Diversity for the Ames Chamber of Commerce.

Hostetter told Local 5 that the Workforce Training Academy was exactly what she needed to take a step forward in the right direction--she's happy at her new job and has been able to spend more time with her son. 

"It really helped me a lot and I hope other people will take advantage of it it's you know the funding is there so just go for it and make a good change in your life," she said.

The next available classes are for manufacturing and production technicians. That program starts meeting on December 13th.

If you're interested in learning more about the Workforce Training Academy, you can find all the information on how to get involved here.

WATCH | For 2nd straight month, Americans quit jobs at a record pace 

RELATED: Easterseals Iowa helping more people with disabilities get jobs