Within the next few years, our state must find an additional 127,700 workers with postsecondary degrees or credentials.
More skilled workers are the #1 need of Iowa employers. That’s why we established the “Future Ready” goal for 70% of Iowa’s labor force to have education or training beyond high school by 2025.
Investing in job training, steering young people into skilled careers and helping workers get retrained to meet new demands will help us get there, but we’ll need to do more.
Iowa is home to 80,000 adults who don’t have education and training beyond high school and aren’t working. Iowa Workforce Development recommends encouraging them to re-enter the labor force by:
· Raising awareness about the benefits of job training and helping them find a suitable career.
· Reducing the time needed to achieve a diploma, certificate or credential.
· Addressing barriers to training, education and work, such as affording child care and transportation.
In addition, we need to attract skilled workers, keep skilled workers and encourage more young Iowans to build their careers in Iowa.
How can we do that? An Iowa college survey asked students to rate the factors most important to them when deciding where to locate for work.
While about 27% indicated that pay is most important factor when considering a job offer, nearly two-thirds (64%) said that pay and benefits are of equal importance.
What is the top benefit college students consider when looking for a job? Health insurance, by far! Given rapidly rising health care costs, it’s no surprise that about 87% of survey respondents said health insurance is the most desired benefit an employer can offer.
As Iowa continues to become Future Ready, investing in job training remains a top priority. We can bolster that effort by bringing more Iowans back into the workforce and by providing the benefits bright, young professionals seek.