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What Do Iowa Employers Want in New Workers?

PHOTO: Iowa Community Colleges are going to provide more classes in the areas where the state's employers say they need skills.
PHOTO: Iowa Community Colleges are going to provide more classes in the areas where the state's employers say they need skills.
April 29, 2013

DES MOINES, Iowa - The job prospects for this year's graduating seniors from high school and college is somewhat better than last year, but employers continue to complain that those fresh out of school don't have the problem-solving skills they need.

To try to improve that situation, the state's 15 Community Colleges, including Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), are going to test the best employees of the best companies in Iowa to find out what makes them so good, and then try to duplicate it in the classroom.

According to DMACC president Rob Denson, there are high-paying jobs just waiting for the right candidates.

"Just based on the math there are a lot of great jobs - pay well, great benefits, with great futures - that are available and have been available through the entire time Iowa went through its economic downturn," he declared.

Denson said Community Colleges are also going to provide more classes in the areas where the state's employers say they need skills. He said the Colleges have always listened to what employers want.

"Every program at DMACC has an advisory committee made up of persons from the businesses that hire those students, so we're very connected to the needs of business and industry," Denson asserted.

He says all of the state's Community Colleges will use a $13 million federal grant to form the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, which will develop the programs needed to help more workers graduate with the credentials employers want.

Richard Alan, Public News Service - IA