Pictured: Gov. Reynolds introduced the Future Ready Iowa Initiative during her 2019 Condition of the State address. She highlighted Jefferson’s efforts to make the Forge a reality during that address.
Gov. Kim Reynolds will be one of the keynote speakers this weekend in Jefferson as Pillar Technology invites the public to an open house for one of their first “Forges” in a rural community. The Forge is a collaborative effort between Pillar, Corteva Agriscience and Silicon Valley-based Tech Interactive that is anticipated to create as many as 40 high-demand IT jobs and provide training and education opportunities to residents and students to fill those positions. Reynolds says efforts like the Forge are what she envisioned when developing the Future Ready Iowa and Empower Rural Iowa initiatives.
When up and running, the Forge will assist businesses across the country incorporate advanced technologies that will improve operations, customer experiences and more. Corteva is providing scholarships for 25 students at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) to prepare them for internships at the Forge, and the Tech Initiative is creating training programs at Greene County Community Schools. According to Reynolds, she is brimming with excitement about the project and cannot help but bring it up wherever she goes.
The technology sector may be centered in California, but Reynolds touts Iowa as the up-and-coming “Silicon Prairie.” The governor continues to point to a limited workforce as the largest barrier to economic growth in the state and suggests Jefferson may have found the solution to that issue.
The Forge’s open house activities begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7 in the Jefferson Courthouse Square. Parent and teacher sessions will be held at the Sierra Theatre from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and tours of the Forge are available from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Reynolds and Democratic California Congressman, Ro Khanna, are scheduled to speak at 7 p.m.