Talent Attraction Initiative--Regional Partnership Aims to Help Increase Workforce Availability
A regional partnership group made up of economic developers, chamber directors and staff from Indian Hills Community College works continuously to enhance our talent/workforce pool. In conjunction with our partners at Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Iowa Workforce Development (IWD); the goal of the project is to increase the availablity of workers across southeast Iowa’s 10-county region, particularly in high demand sectors.
The approach to the challenge is two-fold. The partnership team targets candidates who are living outside of the area but may be willing to relocate. As part of the initiative, Alchemy Community Transformations is developing a regional branding strategy that is meant to attract workers to the region’s natural amenities and affordable cost of living. ”Our research shows that right now, Iowa carries a neutral perception as a place to live and work. That perception can be enhanced nearly 90% once folks have visited our state through business or recreational travel” says Kanan Kappelman, Marketing Manager for IEDA. Economies of scale are available to both the state and regional groups by sharing multiple “buzz-generating” tactics in creative advertising, social media strategy, digital campaigning, and connecting with other influencers.
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 partnership team 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.