The 100-year-old United Way of Central Iowa has received its largest grant, $2.2 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to train 380 Central Iowans in health care skills.

The four-year grant will double the capacity of Central Iowa Works to serve individuals with barriers to education and employment.

United Way's award was part of $111 million in America's Promise grants made to 23 regional workforce partnerships. The projects connect more than 21,000 Americans to education and fields that need more workers.

The Central Iowa America's Promise Project will target services to unemployed, underemployed, refugees, veterans and individuals with criminal backgrounds.

A state report found that the average age of Central Iowa health care workers is 50, and 40 percent will be eligible for retirement in the next five to 10 years.

Most of the individuals served by the grant will have barriers to education and employment. Barriers may include: lack of high school diploma or equivalency, limited English proficiency, disabilities, criminal history, or lack of access to affordable and quality transportation or child care.