At least five communities will receive funding through a new Iowa Health Careers Registered Apprenticeship Program, which opened an application period for grants Wednesday. The program, announced Tuesday by Gov. Kim Reynolds in her Condition of the State address, aims to provide high school students with the opportunity to explore health care careers while getting paid and also helping to address the health care workforce shortage. Grant recipients will establish a new, or expand an existing, high school-based Registered Apprenticeship program modeled on the Patient Care Registered Apprenticeship Program launched last year at the Career Academy of Pella. According to the Notice of Funding Opportunity, Iowa Workforce Development anticipates awarding a minimum of five grants that may vary in amount as determined by the scope of the project and the availability of funding. The funding will be provided from federal American Rescue Plan funds received last year by the state. Iowa Workforce Development and the Iowa Department of Education will host an initial webinar to provide information and an opportunity for a live Q&A on Jan. 21 at 1 p.m. Additional guidance will be posted on the Iowa Earn & Learn website and on the Iowa Department of Education website.