A bi-partisian group of state lawmakers wants to expand a workforce development program started last year. The Accelerated Career Education or “ACE” program creates partnerships with a business and a community college. It began with John Deere in Ankeny by creating a curriculum that prepares students for specific jobs at the company. Senator Jeff Lamberti, a republican from Ankehny, says the program has been a great success in attracting employees during a workforce shortage. He is seeking to get approval for a shift in tax money to expand the program statewide.Instead of paying witholding tax to the state, the businesses would pay the money to the community colleges to fund the program. Senator Mike Gronstal, a democrat from Council Bluffs, also supports the program. He says it takes kids without the necessary skills and adds value to them.Governor Vilsack vetoed the tax shift funding portion of the ACE program last year, saying it would create a hole in the general fund. Senator Lamberti says he’s trying to find other savings in the budget so the governor will approve the tax shift.
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