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Training & Upskilling Opportunities

Creating a stronger workforce, together.

Training & Upskilling Programs

Like many other communities, finding qualified workers is among the largest and most significant challenges faced by employers.

What sets our region apart are the innovative, forward-thinking organizations and programs that aid local businesses and position workers for both short- and long-term career success.

Opportunity Dubuque

Opportunity Dubuque is a nationally recognized, collaborative job-training effort developed in response to local employers’ needs for a skilled workforce.

A win-win for students and employers, individuals can complete industry-driven certifications to upgrade their skills or launch new careers.

The program offers training in a variety of disciplines across industries to fill high-demand and high-wage occupations, providing a unique level of flexibility that allows the community to adapt to shifting dynamics and immediate needs in the workforce.

Since 2012, Opportunity Dubuque has graduated over 900 students and connected them to jobs in advanced manufacturing, transportation, health care, information technology, culinary, and construction and restoration.

Tuition assistance and child-care support remove barriers and make the program accessible to all.

Reflecting its true collaborative nature, Opportunity Dubuque is offered through Northeast Iowa Community College, funded by Greater Dubuque Development Corp., and supported by commitments from the City of Dubuque, Dubuque County, and the Dubuque Racing Association.

Visit here to learn more.

Child Care Professional Attraction Grant

The availability of quality, affordable child care is the biggest barrier to entering and staying in the workforce.

To support strategies to address regional needs, we've recently launched the Greater Dubuque Child Care Professional Attraction grant in partnership with Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) to offer $1,000 awards to eligible child care workers entering the field.

Childcare is a critical community infrastructure component that impacts overall workforce participation. Integral to the Greater Dubuque region’s childcare system is the attraction and recruitment of skilled childcare professionals to fill the growing number of openings in this rewarding career field.

To support regional efforts, Greater Dubuque Development is now offering the Greater Dubuque Child Care Professional Attraction Grant, a $1,000 grant to eligible child care workers entering the field and receiving training through NICC.

Eligibility Requirements
• Enrolled in Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) Child Care Level 1 career pathway certificate course (tuition support available through Opportunity Dubuque).
• Must be working with NICC College and Career Coach.
• Secure employment (full or part-time) that counts towards the staff-child ratio at a participating child care center.
• Not employed in child care industry prior to enrollment in Child Care Level 1 course.
• Grant award available after maintaining employment at participating child care center for at least 30 days.

In addition, Greater Dubuque Development’s Opportunity Dubuque program provides child care assistance at no cost to qualifying Child Care Level 1 students. Full-time employed graduates of the program may also qualify for additional child care support for up to 12 months.

To take the next steps, contact Adrianna Johnson, NICC College and Career Coach at 844-642-2338 Ext. 3305 or
For more about participating child care centers contact Nic Hockenberry, Director of Workforce Programming at Greater Dubuque Development via phone 563-557-9049 or at

Dubuque Works

A proactive initiative focused on the recruitment and skill development of our workforce, ensuring positive outcomes for workers and businesses alike.

It is a true regional partnership, with dozens of nonprofits, educators, workforce experts, and communities working together.

Dubuque Works has two main goals:

Human Capital: Identify and address recruitment, retention, and relocation needs as defined by Greater Dubuque employers, and build workforce capacity by enhancing training to meet employer demand.

Collaboration and Evaluation: Combine collaborative workforce efforts with quality research to generate evidence-based practices that improve performance and outcomes for local employers.

Read the Dubuque Works Strategic Plan to learn more about Dubuque Works, its goals, and its partners.

Dubuque Works is made possible through financial support provided by the City of Dubuque, DRA/Q Casino, and the Dubuque County Board of Supervisors.

Dubuque Works Partners: