The Impact of a Future Ready Workforce in Iowa

Kathy Leggett-HeadshotSteve Gilbert-HeadshotMark Hudson







By: Kathy Leggett, Steve Gilbert and Mark Hudson

Future Ready Iowa is about creating a future that works for all Iowans. This exciting initative is building on Iowa’s already strong foundation to partner, create and innovate across sectors to create the workforce needed to empower our state’s industries to thrive. We want to rapidly expand opportunities for more Iowan’s to acquire the skills, knowledge and support needed to prepare for and obtain great careers and futures.

This session will educate business and human resource professionals on Future Ready Iowa’s priorities and programs from business and human resource representatives that set priorities on the Future Ready Iowa Alliance. Learn how targeted skills-building and work-based learning programs like apprenticeships and internships will strengthen your workforce into the future. Leave this panel presentation with an understanding of how to get engaged with Future Ready Iowa and take the initiative’s strategies into your professional role.

Presentation Objectives:

  • Understand the need and urgency for Future Ready Iowa
  • Discuss the goal and recommendations
  • Future Ready Iowa ideas and strategies, how they are used by employers and HR professionals
  • Next steps and how you can get involved

About the Speaker:
Kathy Leggett
Kathy Leggett began her role as Future Ready Iowa Policy Adviser in January 2018, bringing 20 years of experience in statewide leadership, project management, collaboration and advocacy work. Kathy’s previous position was Director of the Center for Advocacy and Outreach at Blank Children’s Hospital.  In this role her responsibilities included creating the government relations program at Blank Children’s Hospital and leading policy and advocacy work for the children’s hospital for 14 years.  Kathy’s experience also includes creating and establishing programs and providing leadership, direction, budgeting and employee development for multiple departments.

She is involved in extensive community outreach efforts, with a focus on Iowans who are low-income, members of underrepresented minority groups, disabled, refugees, first-generation college students and ex-offenders. She coordinates with a leadership team of collaborating agencies and leaders from business, education, government, workforce and the community. Kathy lives in Des Moines, where she loves to be on the trails and spend time with her children, Max and Jane.

Steve Gilbert
Steve Gilbert is the President and Owner of Gilbert Enterprises based in the Southern Iowa town of Leon. Since coming back to the family business in 2011, the Gilbert family of businesses has grown from a plumbing and heating company of three employees to five different businesses employing over 40 great people. These businesses include two True Value retail stores, four locations of the plumbing and heating business, a spray foam insulation company, construction management firm, and a property management company.

The vision of Steve and his team was to create a sustainable company in a remote, rural market that served the region in a comprehensive, professional manner. As he saw the declining number of skilled tradesmen he realized the urgency of the situation and knew their organization must grow. Having three sons that wanted to follow the footsteps of their father and grandfather, the creation of a pathway for succession was necessary. This is where Registered Apprenticeships came into the picture four years ago.

Steve’s passion is growing businesses and helping young people. He has served on the Future Ready Iowa Alliance, was a high school football coach for 23 years, is a member of the Iowa Geothermal Association, holds master licenses in Plumbing and HVAC, and continues to serve on the Iowa Workforce Development Board.

Mark Hudson
Mark Hudson is an Attorney and Senior Vice President at Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C. Mark’s work focuses on labor and employment compliance and counseling (including personnel policies and decisions, workplace investigations, affirmative action program compliance, wage and hour advice, and general employment counseling), labor and employment litigation (including equal opportunity, wrongful discharge, discrimination, sexual harassment and defense of employment-related claims), and fair housing litigation and compliance.

Prior to joining Shuttleworth, Mark worked at a large Omaha law firm practicing in a regional labor and employment law section. Mark also is the co-author of “McDonnell Douglas: Alive and Well”, 52 Drake Law Review 383 (2004), is a Contributing Editor for BNA’s leading labor law treatise, The Developing Labor Law, and is a Chapter Monitor for BNA’s and the ABA Section on Labor and Employment Law’s definitive reference on the law of discrimination in the workplace, Employment Discrimination Law.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.