Iowa Intermediary Network
“Interested firms should submit a marketing plan to provide a cohesive message for a group of 15 work-based learning coordinators who are loosely related in a community of practice. We are located all over the state of Iowa. We do not have a director for all 15 offices, and there is no central office location. Iowa Intermediary Network coordinators all work independently to connect high-school students with work-based learning opportunities, though the various coordinators in the 15 regions do not provide the same opportunities or have the same resources.”
The language above is a rough approximation of the proposal we were asked to provide to the Iowa Intermediary Network Technical Assistance Center, which would issue a contract on behalf of the Iowa Intermediary Network (IIN).
As we worked through our proposal, we returned over and over again to one central problem: only a very small percentage of business people, educators, students, or parents in the state were aware of what IIN does. The IIN coordinators were out in the field every day working with businesses, students and educators and if you were lucky to speak to them directly, you would gain an understood their work. If you hadn’t interacted with them, their pages on the various community college websites might or might not explain their work well, you might or might not be able to contact them easily, and the visitor could be easily overwhelmed with the combined language of several state agencies. More challenging yet, each page was managed by a separate community college.
We set out an ambitious goal for the first year of this contract. We proposed creating a website to explain the work IIN does to and streamline the process of contacting a coordinator. Secondly, we proposed creating unified social media accounts that every coordinator could share posts on, and finally, we would train every coordinator to create content for their region through training modules on the new, combined website.
The goal of each of these tools was to improve awareness for students, parents, businesses, and educators of the career opportunities and to offer work-based learning explorations.
The work IIN is doing is critical if Iowa is to reach the goal set by Governor Kim Reynolds to have 70% of Iowa’s workforce prepared with post-secondary education or training by 2025.
By connecting students with employers for work-based learning experiences, the Iowa Intermediary Network is striving to achieve that goal so students can productively participate in Iowa’s increasingly technology-driven economy.
Monkeythis is proud of our efforts to help IIN and our entire state.