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Gov. Reynolds announces IEDA, IWD partnership to conduct laborshed studies across Iowa

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: May 10, 2018
Contact: Cory Kelly

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced a partnership between the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) Thursday to conduct laborshed studies across Iowa. The studies will begin in July and will be conducted at no cost to communities.

The governor says these studies and the partnerships making them possible represent the kind of unique support Iowa is providing its economic developers and employers to unleash opportunity across the state.

“I strongly believe no other state is doing as much as Iowa to enable our economic development partners, our current employers and those companies considering investing here,” Gov. Reynolds said. “The partnership to provide these studies is a prime example of that. In Iowa, we’re continuing to build on our successes and do everything we can to power potential for Iowans.”

Under the new partnership, IEDA and IWD will finance a laborshed study for every county in the state, providing the data to local economic development organizations and partners for free. Studies will be conducted on a biennial basis, with half the state receiving the study in year one and the other half receiving the study in year two. Studies in existing economic development regions will be conducted together to allow for regional analysis.

“This new program will ensure all areas of the state have access to data sources on workforce characteristics, revealing meaningful insights into the availability of labor,” IWD Director Beth Townsend said.

Laborshed studies help both existing and new businesses understand labor availability within an area based on current commuting patterns. They depict the scope and scale of a community’s available workforce. They also answer questions about labor availability, as well as characteristics about available labor such as employment status, likeliness to change/accept employment, education level, wages, skills/experience, current and desired benefits and job search resources used.

“We could not be more excited to provide Iowa’s communities the most comprehensive labor data available in the marketplace through this partnership,” IEDA Director Debi Durham said. “We take pride in the benefits of doing business in Iowa, which will now include this valuable data on Iowa’s workforce.”