Carroll Area Development Corporation CoHosts Workforce Warrior Awards, Employer Educator Summit
Western Iowa’s job market is tough and it’s an obstacle many businesses are finding creative solutions to overcome.

“Carroll County, and surrounding counties, have a below-average unemployment rate. Our businesses and organizations are having to do more to attract and retain employees,” explains Shannon Landauer, Carroll Area Development Corporation (CADC) executive director.

A new recognition program, the Workforce Warrior Awards, is an initiative being brought forward by Western Iowa Advantage (WIAD) to recognize efforts to bridge the gap between local educators and businesses. Students attending local schools are a natural way to help fill the employee void.

“The Workforce Warrior Awards are two-fold,” clarifies Landauer. “The Workforce Warrior Award for Business provides recognition to any business that has implemented a program reaching out to schools to share information about local career opportunities. Meanwhile, the Workforce Warrior Award for Educators recognizes school programs that have solidified working relationships with businesses to help educate students about career paths available locally.”

Any business or school within Adair, Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie, Ida or Sac Counties are eligible to apply for a Workforce Warrior Award. Applicants must have a pre-existing program already in place and the program must provide some type of benefit that would otherwise not exist. All applications are due by Friday, September 8.

As part of the program, a small financial stipend is awarded to the recipients to help further the work being recognized. In addition, award recipients are asked to present at this year’s Employer Educator Summit in Denison, set for Wednesday, October 4.

“We’re really excited about this year’s Summit, particularly building off of what we’ve created with our Summits the last several years,” comments Landauer. “50% of Iowa’s jobs require workers with at least a middle-skills and that’s currently where our gap is.”

Middle-skills are jobs focused in computer technology, nursing, high-skill manufacturing and other fields that don’t necessarily require a four-year post-secondary degree, but instead may require some technical education or training. Currently nationwide, about 69 million people work in middle-skills jobs, representing roughly 48% of the U.S. labor workforce.

The goal of the Summit is to bring educators, employers, workforce and economic development professionals and students to one forum to bridge the workforce gab by engaging students with early initiatives to help prepare them for the diverse workplace that lies ahead. Last year, a similar Summit held in Jefferson hosted over 200.
For more Summit or award information, or to register to attend, visit, or call the Carroll Chamber of Commerce office at (712) 792-4383.