Crystal Group hosts Future Ready Iowa advisor, celebrates Innovation Fund award

Crystal Group Future Ready Iowa
Kathy Leggett, Future Ready Iowa policy advisor, talks with Nick Turnis, Crystal Group production quality lead and IPC trainer, about the new soldering lab training program the company implemented this year with a grant from the Employer Innovation Fund. CREDIT BUSINESS WIRE

Crystal Group, Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of rugged computer and electronic hardware based in Hiawatha, featured improvements to its employee training and education offerings made possible through the Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund during a recent visit by Iowa Workforce Development Future Ready Iowa policy advisor Kathy Leggett.

“Providing our employees with meaningful, timely learning opportunities is imperative to their individual performance, engagement and growth,” said Deb Dirks, director of Human Resources for Crystal Group, in a release. “However, the products we design, build and test are highly technical and customized, so programs aren’t always readily available to meet our employees’ needs. Assistance from the Employer Innovation Fund increases our investments in competency-based technical training tailored specifically to our business.”

During the visit, Ms. Leggett spoke with several Crystal Group employees about some of the newly implemented or expanded learning opportunities supported by the Employment Innovation Fund. This included a custom, in-house soldering lab training program, improvements to digital work instructions, training to identify counterfeit parts amid ongoing supply chain constraints, and tuition reimbursement for employees pursuing engineering and technical degrees.

“Upskilling individuals is critical for them to keep up with technology and for companies to stay competitive,” Ms. Leggett said. “Crystal Group’s approach provides its employees the opportunity to pursue learning across multiple paths at an accelerated pace, which is both innovative and efficient. This supports the needs of the employees and the performance of the company, which is exactly what we want to see with the Employer Innovation Fund.”

Future Ready Iowa focuses on building Iowa’s talent pipeline by connecting its residents to education and training needed to secure good-paying jobs and careers to improve people’s lives. As one of its core initiatives, the Employer Innovation Fund supports creative and innovative employer-led efforts to increase the number of Iowans who obtain credentials of value for high-demand jobs in Iowa. Crystal Group is one of 38 Iowa employers and partner organizations to be awarded Future Ready Iowa funding in 2022.

A small, employee-owned business founded in 1987, Crystal Group provides defense, government and industrial markets with integrated solutions that bring artificial intelligence, autonomy and cybersecurity to edge applications.

Crystal Group products meet or exceed strict IEEE, IEC, and military standards and are backed by a five-plus-year warranty. All products are manufactured in the company’s facility, which is certified to ISO 9001:2015/AS9100D quality management standards.