The skills gap? Iowa’s closing it.

Expanding or relocating is a huge undertaking. The logistics are incredible. And the last thing you want is a surprise shortage of prospective employees. So Iowa is working to be completely transparent about the state’s pool of workers with our new whitepaper: Issue One: Iowa Workforce.

Is there a skills gap? Yes. There’s a skills gap across the country. But CEOs in Iowa tell us they’re doing OK on hiring because of the state’s efforts to close the gap and the quality and value you get from a single Iowa worker.

Stan Askren from HNI said his employees are “not afraid of hard work, they’re not afraid to engage and to be accountable.” While another CEO from a major manufacturing company in central Iowa called her staff “skilled, productive and engaged in the vision of the company.”

You’ll find Iowa’s workforce is highly educated with 33 percent holding a bachelor’s degree and the highest high school graduation rate in the country. The state’s new Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) programs in the education system have already reached more than 100,000 students — and their test scores are notably higher because of it.

There are many pieces of data on education and training we can use to profile Iowa’s workforce for you. But doesn’t it mean more coming from the people faced with hiring every single day? Read the honest feedback we took from five Iowa CEOs in Issue One: Iowa Workforce.

Straight from the CEO’s mouth: Iowa’s wonderful workforce.

CEOs of Iowa’s largest companies talk about workforce.
CEOs of Iowa’s largest companies talk about workforce.

It’s one thing for us to tell you what Iowa’s workforce has to offer your business. It’s another thing to hear it from CEOs of companies that have already chosen to make Iowa their home.

So – you guessed it – we asked CEOs of some of Iowa’s top businesses to tell us what they think about Iowa and our workforce. Here’s just some of what they had to say:

“The STEM Advisory Council of Iowa is a great example of a public/private and academic partnership that is focused on one of the most critical tasks of our future.”

Larry Zimpleman, Chairman of the Board, The Principal Financial Group

“The entire country is facing workforce shortages and a gap in high-tech skills. But in Iowa, we’re staying on top of the issue and the companies here are still able to grow, innovate and compete globally.”

Paul Schickler, President, DuPont Pioneer

“People here are real…they’re not afraid of hard work, they’re not afraid to engage and to be accountable.”

– Stan Askren, Chair, President & CEO, HNI Corporation

Download our new Iowa workforce whitepaper to learn what top executives think about Iowa’s workforce. We’ll give you a hint: You’re going to love what you read. For example, nearly 33 percent of Iowans ages 25-34 years hold a bachelor’s degree.

When you’re done reading the whitepaper, check out the rest of the Iowa C-Suite online. That’s where you’ll find CEO video interviews and more whitepapers that cover a range of topics that can benefit your company.

Did somebody say expansion?

It’s no secret – businesses love expanding in Iowa. And why wouldn’t they? Iowa was recently listed as one of America’s Top States for Business by CNBC. After all, we have a commitment to building a strong, diverse economy while raising the standard of living for all Iowans. This is just part of the reason why companies of all kinds are choosing to expand in Iowa.

Take, for instance, tech giant Google. At their Council Bluffs data center they’re adding 35 high-paying jobs and making a $1 billion capital investment. Much of their success and continued investment is due to Iowa’s commitment to renewable wind energy. Because, not to brag, we’re number one in the nation in terms of total electricity we use generated from wind power – 28.5 percent in 2014.

And it’s not just our renewable energy that’s attracting business expansion in our state. So is our skilled labor force. In Ankeny, genetic analysis manufacturer Advanced Analytical Technologies is hiring nearly 60 highly trained workers. While in Dubuque, insurance broker Cottingham & Butler is expanding its employee base by nearly 100 workers and making exciting facility upgrades.

Located in the heart of Iowa, Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica (BIVI) is set to expand its livestock pharmaceuticals production and biological research facilities in both Ames and Fort Dodge with a $110 million capital investment. The new BIVI facility in Ames will be a large component of the recently announced expansion of the ISU Research Park, which is also home to Ebola vaccine and cancer treatment researcher NewLink Genetics.

You know you’re on the right track when companies in your own backyard continue to invest in your state. So if you’re ready to make the move to a state where business expansion is the norm, contact us. Iowa is ready to help your business grow.

Learn more about what’s waiting for your business in Iowa.