Fixing Iowa’s shortage of skilled workers
Business leaders say improving worker training is the most important thing we can do to keep Iowa’s economy growing. Simply put, when Iowa employers can’t find the skilled workers they need, they end up losing business to competitors, hiring from other states, or moving their businesses out of Iowa.
We want Iowans to provide Iowa businesses with all the skilled workers they need. Here are two facts from a new jobs report from Iowa Workforce Development that help show the way forward:
1. About half of all jobs in Iowa require an associate’s degree, a certification or an apprenticeship, but only about one-third of the current workforce fits that bill.
2. The demand for skilled workers is expected to remain strong. This includes the majority of “green jobs,” as well as a variety of work in in education, health care, finance and business services.
That’s why I’m working to expand technical training that will help under-skilled Iowans qualify for available jobs here in Iowa.
This year, we agreed to invest more in matching unemployed Iowans to job openings at local businesses. We asked our community colleges to help by using the experience they’ve gained in working closely with local employers.
In addition, we provided additional funding to help keep tuition affordable and kicked off education reforms to make our local schools stronger than ever. We are also intensifying science, technology, engineering and math education in our schools.
A new “Skilled Iowa” initiative will help Iowans take advantage of these opportunities. Skilled Iowa uses a nationally recognized approach to assess someone’s skills and abilities, assists them in their skill development and improvement, and matches them with employers who have job openings.
To learn more about what Skilled Iowa can offer job seekers and employers, go to www.skillediowa.org.
To see the complete report on Iowa’s shortage of skilled workers, visit www.iowaworkforce.org/imsj2012.pdf.Posted Jun. 22nd, 2012 at 6:57 am by Senate Staff