Forecasting Talent Needs in 2019 and Beyond

Aug 15, 2018

What will the hiring demand and talent needs of ICR IOWA look like in 2019 and beyond? ICR IOWA and Kirkwood Community College recently partnered to find out with the Skills Talent Forecast (the Forecast). After collecting data from more than 140 employers in Iowa City – Cedar Rapids, ICR IOWA is bringing workforce partners from across the region together to determine how to respond to the most pressing talent demands. The data is also being used to create workforce attraction, retention and development strategies that support employer needs.

ICR IOWA, and all of Iowa, really, is seeing record low unemployment rates. It’s a double-edged sword; because it means people have jobs and are working, a good thing. For employers, it proves challenging and can hinder growth. There are more open jobs than there are people to fill them.

Employers that participated in the Forecast will create nearly 1,900 new jobs by the end of next year. From the Forecast and a few other sources, we’re projecting there will be a need to hire a total of 5,584 jobs. Industries with the largest anticipated jobs needs have been pillars in our economy for decades. They include engineering, education and healthcare, with technology-related positions within each industry showing high demand as well. Data from the Forecast show almost half of new jobs created in 2019 will come from these three industries.

Careers within the three pillar industries include electronic engineers, registered nurses, physicians, computer and information systems managers, post-secondary teachers, education administrators and more. These careers require a degree, often an advanced degree, meaning the salaries have the ability to entice relocation.

People with ties to Iowa – or at least the Midwest – are more likely to consider an opportunity to relocate here. But how do we find them? We are pursuing a relationship with the Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) based on their amazing program called the Iowan Project. The Iowan Project can provide contact information of people in the technology industry who may be interested in coming back to Iowa for the right opportunity. With TAI’s help, we may be able to scale this program to our other critical industries.

Another audience with ties to Iowa, and in this case ICR IOWA, is University of Iowa alumni. The University of Iowa's Center for University Advancement and Alumni Association have been fantastic partners. They are helping us connect directly with University of Iowa alumni across the country.

We’re competing for talent nationwide, not just in the Midwest. We must sell what makes us unique to those considering relocation. We have short commutes, major college athletics, an arts culture, incredible health care, walkable communities, friendly and hardworking neighbors and top-notch local restaurants and businesses. It’s a great place to live. And now, thanks to this data, we know the exact kind of people we need to bring home to enjoy it.

If you have questions about the Skills Talent Forecast or would like to see the full report, contact Tim Carty, Director of Talent Attraction at

ICR IOWA is a joint venture between the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and the Iowa City Area Development Group. ICR IOWA's mission is to accelerate high-quality job growth and capital investment in our seven-county region.

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