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DES MOINES — The state transportation department is requesting public input to help shape its Iowa Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan, which is currently in development.
An online survey is open at iowadot.gov/iowaevplan.
The state is using a portion of federal infrastructure funding to support development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and is joining other states in developing plans for a national electric vehicle charging network along major transportation corridors like Interstate-80 and Interstate-35.
The state expects to receive $51.4 million in federal funds over five years for the program. To be eligible to receive those funds, the state must submit a Statewide Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan by Aug. 1. Survey input will be used to inform the plan’s development.
TEACHER APPRENTICE PROGRAM: Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the 19 recipient schools of the Teacher and Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Grant Program, a $45.6 million, federally funded program that is designed to create opportunities for high school students and adults to earn a paraeducator certificate and associate’s degree, and for paraeducators to earn their bachelor’s degree while learning and working in the classroom.
The pilot program, which is funded through federal pandemic relief funding, will serve more than 1,000 paraeducators and students in 134 schools ultimately creating over 500 new paraeducators and 500 new teachers, the governor’s office said.
“The overwhelming response we received for this grant opportunity has been truly remarkable and is evident of the great interest and passion that lies within our students and paraeducators to jumpstart their careers in education,” Reynolds said in the news release.
The full list of districts chosen for the pilot program can be found online at earnandlearniowa.gov.
FOOD PROGRAM: The state ag department said it is launching a statewide, federally funded program to purchase Iowa grown and produced food and distribute it to underserved communities.
Funded through the federal ag department’s Local Food Purchase Assistance program, it is expected to bring $1.8 million to at least 300 Iowa farmers.
“As consumer demand for locally grown and produced foods increases, our farmers are rising to meet the challenge,” state ag secretary Mike Naig said in a news release. “This program builds a framework for long term partnerships that will grow economic opportunities for farmers, increase access to local food and improve supply chain resiliency.”
According to the news release, the program will create 2,000 distribution sites with food banks, food hub distribution partners and the Meskwaki Nation. Iowa food hubs will purchase, aggregate, distribute and market products from local farmers across the state.
More information, including for interested stakeholders, is available at iowaagriculture.gov/ILFPA.
Gazette Des Moines Bureau