A group, that’s been asked to find ways to attract new residents to the state and keep young Iowans from leaving the state, met for the first time today in Des Moines. The Generation Iowa Commission includes 15 members, ranging in age from 18 to 35. Governor Chet Culver met with the group and says, while Iowans take pride in their state, they need to "sell that" to others.
"We’re modest by nature," Culver says, "and we need to get out there in this very competitive environment and do a better job of selling all the incredible things that we have to offer." Culver says Iowa has quality schools, a top notch health care system, and an excellent standard of living.
Culver says, "Those really set us apart from any other state in the nation, I think people are making a mistake by not wanting to live in Iowa." Many of the commission members said college students often leave Iowa upon graduation because they can make more money in neighboring states. Culver says he likes the idea of offering incentives for businesses that take over a new employee’s student loan payments.
"That money would go in their pocket as income, as opposed to going out to pay off debt," Culver says, "I think that makes a lot of sense and I think employers in Iowa, given the workforce challenge, will be receptive to that idea." The Generation Iowa Commission has been asked to submit a list of recommendations to the legislature on January 15th.