Iowa’s second largest city is launching a one-million dollar campaign to entice more people to live and work in the area. The effort by the Cedar Rapids Economic Development Alliance includes a series of commercials featuring local businesses and employees.
Dee Baird, president and CEO of the Alliance, says job growth in the area is outpacing demand. Companies in Cedar Rapids want to hire, but can’t find enough skilled candidates in the area. “We have entry level positions going unfilled, technical positions are short in certain industries — I-T, softwares, salespeople, and other skilled trade areas. So those are some targeted demographics,” Baird says.
In addition to the commercials, the two-year, million-dollar marketing strategy will include an online job portal and a “stay here” campaign targeting college students. “We do have great progress, we’ve come back from the flood, we have great assets and jobs, but that Iowa humility is not helping us,” Baird says. For that reason, Baird says one of the marketing campaigns is called “Building Swagger.” In November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 4-point-2 percent unemployment rate in the Cedar Rapids Metro area.