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Through collaborative leadership we supplied a pipeline of $812 million in new capital investment projects to strengthen and diversify the assets in Iowa. But beyond big number private-sector prospects we also work with the progressive small businesses, nonprofits, civic leaders, workforce, education institutions, utilities, transportation, housing, etc to maximize productivity and long-term prosperity in our evolving economic landscape.

Workforce Update: Who are we creating jobs for in Tama County?

Even with Tama County Iowa’s 6.2% unemployment standing in sharp contrast to the national 9.1% unemployment, most people seem to be in agreement that job creation is a key objective in our current local economy. But what may not get as much attention is the next logical question: who are we creating jobs for? On the one hand of the equation stands the existing and future businesses needing employees with skills, wage thresholds, education levels that would not hold them back from growing and adapting to the market, rebounding from the recession. On the other side stands the worker with a specific set of skills, abilities and fair market wage expectations.

Over the next few months Tama County Economic Development will be working with our partners to better understand both sides of the equation. The goal would be to put updated processes in place that would continually evolve and strengthen our workforce supply chain, maximizing the opportunities for healthy growth, and minimizing the waste or risk created from miss matches. Earlier this month Tama County Economic Development commissioned an updated labor shed study to take a snapshot of our workforce as we emerge from the recession. Special thanks to the four partners who have stepped up thus far to support in paying for the study: Alliant Energy, Meskwaki Nation, Iowa Valley Community College District, and Hawkeye Community College District.

HOW CAN YOU HELP? A selectively random sample of households in and around the Tama County area will be contacted via telephone to respond confidentially to a handful of questions. Please answer truthfully. The questions will cover topics like: employment status, wages, benefits, education, and occupation. Survey results would then be applied to demographic data to develop a total potential labor force of the labor shed as well as estimates for various labor force characteristics.

County and regional analysis results will be published online for public access. We anticipate a completion date before the end of the calendar year. Past executive summaries and data on surrounding region are available online now: http://www.iowaworkforce.org/lmi/labsur/index.html If you have any questions about the labor shed employment study project or results, please contact Tama County Economic Development or Ryan Murphy heading up the project for Iowa Workforce Development Bureau of Regional Statistics at 515-281-7505.


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