Attracting and retaining a skilled and diverse workforce is critical to the success of any community. The State of Iowa consistently has more job openings than people to fill them. Slow population growth has not kept pace with retirements. At the same time, Americans are more mobile than ever and they are looking for low cost of living and community connection, which Iowa has in spades. As the state’s No. 1 challenge, Iowa is taking talent attraction efforts to the next level at this critical time.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is deploying a four-part strategy to address talent needs:
- Workforce Research: Through comprehensive analysis, the program identifies the specific needs and demands of key industries within the state, allowing for targeted recruitment strategies.
- Marketing: Building upon the IEDA’s existing marketing efforts, the program features action-driven campaigns targeting out-of-state job seekers.
- Alumni Partnerships: Partnerships with Iowa universities will help facilitate connections between talented alumni and promising career opportunities within the state.
- Lead Nurturing: Launch pilot program with a talent attraction agency to target workforce leads and connect them with career opportunities and communities in Iowa
Through a partnership with RoleCall, an Iowa City-based talent recruitment agency, IEDA is launching a personalized talent attraction pilot program to connect prospective new residents with career opportunities and communities statewide. The program leverages relationships statewide and builds on IEDA’s marketing with an infrastructure to capture leads, connect them with communities and employers, and convert them into new residents. This infrastructure will be built into IEDA’s quality of life website, ThisIsIowa.com.
Greater Iowa City, Inc. (Greater IC) is excited to be one of the 15 communities piloting the program, which will launch in the spring of 2024. In January, the Greater IC team hosted IEDA and RoleCall for a site visit, which brought together local stakeholders to discuss the program strategy, local goals and challenges, and ideas for the future. Going forward, the Greater IC team will support this program by designating a lead Community Champion – Stephanie Verdinez, Greater IC’s Director of Business Support Programs – that will:
- Connect job seekers to relevant resources, such as employer representatives, real estate agents and schools.
- Share interests outside of work with prospective residents, such as outdoor recreation, clubs or volunteer opportunities.
- Serve as the main point of contact with IEDA to receive new assignments, share feedback and success stories, and more.
By aligning our efforts with the IEDA, we aim to expand the talent pool available to local businesses, and boost the image of Iowa, and specifically the greater Iowa City area, as a vibrant and attractive location for professionals.