The council is calling the need for a trained workforce a major concern and challenge for Iowa employers.
IBC executive director Georgia Van Gundy says Iowa is rightfully praised for its high school graduation rate.
“But what we don’t have then is for individuals who go on to post-graduate training, whether it’s community college or a four-year institution,” Van Gundy says. “They are not getting that type of training and those are the types of individuals we need for the jobs in Iowa.”
To remedy the situation, Van Gundy says the Iowa Business Council is pledging to hire 30,000 interns and apprentices by 2025. She says the makeup of the state’s population is also a problem.
“We’re poor as far as demographics and diversity,” Van Gundy says. “In the state of Iowa, our population has not grown much at all and we are not a very diverse population, so in order to meet those job needs we have, we definitely need to grow our population in the state.”
By month’s end, Van Gundy says the council will introduce a Business Education Alliance made up of business leaders, higher education officials and K-12 representatives to map out strategies for current and future workforce needs.
By Rob Dillard, Iowa Public Radio