Critical Need: Skilled Workforce

Looming workforce shortage—the pace of Central Iowa’s economic expansion increasing over the last few years with an unemployment rate that continues to trend downward.

• Careers today require advanced knowledge and/or technical skills. By 2018, three out of five jobs in Central Iowa will require education beyond high school. Earning a credential/certification or a two or four year degree will be essential.

A growing skills gap, particularly middle skills, and the need for a more credentialed workforce.

• Currently, the demand for skilled workers in some industry sectors are increasing at a pace far greater than our existing community and technical colleges can produce.

• Increased reliance on skills and productivity—the need for an educated workforce is expected to increase by 2020,where 65 percent of all jobs will require some postsecondary education.

Central Iowa’s top 50 jobs are projected to experience both high demand and pay high salaries through 2020, 94 percent require postsecondary education (Iowa
Workforce Development, October 2012).


• Improving the traditional educational pipeline is crucial, but we must also focus on adults. Many adults need education and training to skill up and find a promising career and support a family.

• In Central Iowa we have over 30,000 adults without a minimum foundation of a high school diploma or equivalency.