Hubbell, Reynolds both campaign on job training

Democratic candidate for governor Fred Hubbell and his running mate state Sen. Rita Hart tour the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 33 apprenticeship facility in Des Moines Friday. (Caroline Cummings)

Democratic nominee for Iowa governor Fred Hubbell toured a job training facility in Des Moines Friday, promoting his vision to boost education and workforce training in his quest to become Iowa's chief executive.

“We’ve been travelling around the state visiting a lot of training facilities because that’s a very important part of the opportunity for people to get better jobs, better quality of life in Iowa," Hubbell said.

But workforce development and training initiatives have a familiar supporter in his opponent incumbent Governor Kim Reynolds.

“It’s really important for our economic growth. And we’re not just talking about it; we’ve been working on it for several years and we’re seeing great, great results of it," Reynolds said in an interview.

Reynolds has made workforce training and development a cornerstone of her administration and her campaign to be elected to a four-year term in November. She touts "Future Ready Iowa" -- a bill approved unanimously by the legislature aimed at getting 70% of Iowans some education or training beyond high school by 2025-- as just one example of her commitment to the cause.

She says she’s been to the Plumber and Steamfitters union facility her challenger visited Friday several times.

"They’ve been a great partner in all of the work-based apprenticeship programs we’ve been working on," Reynolds said.

Hubbell says talk is cheap arguing Reynolds has cut funding to community colleges and the Regents universities, which hurts workforce development.

“We want to put more money into it so we can actually do more training," Hubbell said. "We're not just going to talk about it. We're going to put the budget behind those priorities."

But Reynolds maintains she's proud of her record on the issue.

“It’s a public-private partnership so what I’m really proud of is not only the state dollars we’ve put into that but we’ve had companies step and match what we’re doing," Reynolds said.

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