A Solution to the Workforce Shortage

Jul 27, 2021

Iowa’s workforce challenges remain a top concern for Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance members in the aftermath of 2020. The need to grow, retain, and attract a skilled workforce is clear and is at the center of the work we do on behalf of our members. One of the quickest paths to growing our population will come by way of immigration policies that welcome new Americans to stay, return to, or discover Iowa as a place to live.

The latest census numbers reveal over the past ten years Iowa saw population growth of 4.8%, but we remain far behind the national average of 7.4%. Policy makers must take advantage of opportunities available to us to immediately grow our population and meet workforce demands, now and in the future.

The Economic Alliance continues to communicate with federal policy makers on legislation in Congress that will reform our work and school visa policies to allow more workers to stay in the U.S.. It also implements programs for high-skilled and lesser-skilled workers to meet employer demands and pushes for a permanent solution for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to prevent employers from losing current DACA employees.

We’ve recently signed onto the “Businesses for Refugees” pledge as another opportunity to support growing our population through immigration. The pledge shares the important message that American companies want to welcome refugees and that business leaders value our refugee neighbors. Refugees embody characteristics that businesses value deeply—resilience, dependability, determination and a valuable set of skills.

The Economic Alliance is committed to calling for bipartisan solution to reform our country’s broken immigration system. To learn more about our immigration efforts and how you can help, including signing onto the “Businesses for Refugees” pledge, please contact the Economic Alliance’s Public Policy Strategist, Barbra Solberg, at bsolberg@cedarrapids.org.

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