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There’s No Place Like Home effort seeks to bring people back to Fort Dodge

To attract and retain a workforce that matches the needs of our existing industry and future industries is a challenge.

Workforce has been the largest challenge to growth not only in Fort Dodge, but also in Iowa and the Midwest. At any given time, there are well over 700 job openings in Webster County, with an unemployment rate of 3.5% which equates to approximately 850 people. We know that to be competitive, we have to be able to demonstrate that we can attract a qualified workforce and retain them.

The Growth Alliance conducted a survey in September asking people who moved to Fort Dodge or the region within the last five to seven years a series of questions. To no surprise, we found that several moved back for family or friends and more importantly, they have the propensity to stay. We have decided to take advantage of the holidays to enlist family and friends to help recruit people to come back to Fort Dodge or the region to live. We are calling it the “There Is No Place Like Home” campaign. There will be posters, table tents, social media posts, etc. throughout November and December.

There are obviously numerous reasons for friends and family to move back to the region. A few that you will see highlighted in the campaign are: short commute; recreation; low cost of living; eateries, breweries and wineries; family and friends; sporting outlets; art and of course great jobs! Encourage your friends and family to check out our website, www.greaterfortdodge.com/careers. for jobs that are available in the region as well as things to do while they are back for the holidays.

Other workforce recruitment and retention programs that we have developed over the last 10 years include:

• Community Tours

• Resume Distribution

• Internship+ Program

• Externships

• Career on Wheels

• The Link

• Career Discovery Days

• Women in Manufacturing

• Career Postings with Iowa Central Community College, Iowa Workforce Development and the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance

• Community College Program Listing

• Recruitment Video

• Home Base Iowa

• Wage Benefit Survey

• Apprenticeship

• Mover Survey

Kelly Halsted is the economic development director for the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance.