Close the Opportunity Gap & End Barriers to Employment

Posted December 13, 2021

Iowa’s workforce challenges remain a top concern for our member businesses in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. With unemployment uncertainties and low population growth, we have an opportunity to address the core issues facing workforce and adjust policies to meet future demands, including addressing mental health issues within the workplace.

Iowa must look for sustainable solutions to help close race-based opportunity gaps that hinder our economic growth and the vitality of our communities.  By addressing inequity in education, employment, entrepreneurship, and other systems, we can develop new strategies and create new opportunities that strengthen our communities and our businesses and remove barriers to employment.

Policy Solutions Federal Policy State Policy
Support policies that address access to high quality, affordable child care and early childhood education, including increased wages and benefits to grow our child care workforce, increased business investments through tax incentives, and expanded Child Care Assistance benefits to support working families. *
Support policies that help prepare offenders for successful reentry to employment, including the expansion of high school equivalency diploma pathways and apprenticeships. It is also imperative to support correction facility employee training.
Retrain workers for jobs of tomorrow by creating a streamlined return to work program including additional dollars in Pell Grants, for traditional, and non-traditional students.
Support policies that improve access to talent, capital, and opportunities for early and growth-stage companies and expand access to capital to allow minority business owners to start and grow businesses.
Establish a process to recognize alternative career pathways for career credentialing and provide financial assistance to help individuals access these programs.
Improve the Opportunity Zones program to achieve increased utilization and launch a broad cross-sector campaign to encourage and coordinate greater, more impactful investment in Opportunity Zones, including expanding the usage of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to cover all local hiring in Opportunity Zones.

(* Featured Priority)