A regional partnership group made up of economic developers, chamber directors and staff from Indian Hills Community College has announced they are in the early stages of a regional talent attraction initiative. The goal of the project is to increase the available pool of workers across the Indian Hills 10-county region, particularly in high demand sectors.
The group decided to launch the initiative after multiple members recounted conversations with area employers about the difficulty they face in filling certain positions.
According to Ashley Moyer, Executive Director of Continuing Education & Workforce Solutions at Indian Hills, “Over the last year, we have all had multiple conversations with employers who have told us they would be expanding if they could find the workers or that they have turned down work due to lack of capacity. In other industry sectors, employers are worried about their existing employees because they are being asked to regularly work lots of overtime due to open positions.”
The committee working on the project sent out a request for proposal seeking an outside marketing/development firm to help shape the initiative. McClure, based in Clive, has been selected as the winner and the initial information gathering stage has begun.
The approach to the problem will be two-fold. The group plans to target professionals who are living outside of the area to move in. As part of the initiative McClure will be developing a regional branding strategy that is meant to attract workers to the region’s natural amenities and affordable cost of living. At the same time, the branding effort will work to counteract the stereotype that there is “nothing to do here.” This part of the initiative dovetails nicely with a larger state initiative being led by the Iowa Economic Development Authority that is also aimed at attracting professionals to the state.
The second part of the project is geared at helping current residents who may currently be unemployed or underemployed gain the necessary skills to secure higher wage employment. Despite the low unemployment rate, the group believes that there are pockets of people within the region who would like to take advantage of growth opportunities if made more aware of the short-term nature of some available trainings.
As the project moves along local committee members will be reaching out to employers and community organizations for input and assistance. If you would like to learn more about the project, please call Sarah Lind at 641-856-3388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.