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The Perfect Intersection for your Talent Hunt

August 11, 2022 | Economic Development & Workforce

The ICR (Iowa City- Cedar Rapids) region is the perfect intersection of career opportunities and quality of life. Cedar Rapids has an established and growing manufacturing economy plus ground breaking entrepreneurial programs. Iowa City brings the hip vibe of a college town that attracts talented students, researchers and cultural ground breakers.

But let’s talk about the perfect intersection for a job candidate that utilized the ICR Talent Hub, a partnership between the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD). Stephanie Hoffmeyer, a Chicago native, wanted to make a career change and also move to the area to be closer to her family in Cedar Rapids and North Liberty.

ICR Iowa Talent Hub

“I had been looking for 6 months which was unusual for me. I was on the ICR website looking at something else and I saw there was some sort of job networking service called Talent Hub. Coming from Chicago, I couldn’t believe it was a free service but I just gave it a shot. Once I did, the Iowa nice started to set in.”

That meant connecting with Shannon Hanson, ICR’s Talent Hub Connector Coordinator. “The candidate uploads their resume and I reach out to find out what they’re looking for. I do a 15 minute interview, really informal. I get stuff that doesn’t go on a resume.”

Talent Hub is a high-touch personalized experience to connect out-of-market job seekers with careers in high demand fields in ICR. This experience hand delivers qualified candidates to companies, lowers their acquisition cost of new employees while simultaneously increasing the workforce population of the region.

Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance members and ICAD Group investors have free access to Talent Hub candidates. These employers can designate employees within their organization to receive the bi-weekly candidate lists, which can be filtered by industry to meet their specific needs. Employers can view basic contact information about candidates and have access to their resumes and LinkedIn profiles for direct contact. They also can join a monthly virtual call to hear about possible candidates where Hanson shares more about what makes a person tick and why they’re looking for a new job.

“The process was so easy,” Hoffmeyer said. “It took less than a month before I was offered my new position as an IT project manager at CRST. There is truth to someone walking in the door, even virtually, and saying I know this person and here’s my impression. Tapping into that network is so important.”

Hoffman also cited the low cost of living in the area as a huge factor in her decision to move to the Corridor. “I started looking for a place to buy in Chicago and I couldn’t find anything in my range that wasn’t a shoe box. I also had the influence of family because my sister and her family live in North and my parents ended up retiring here. I achieved that Venn diagram – family, cost of living and a new job.”

That’s a perfect intersection. To find out how your company can make these connections, contact Laura Seyfer, Workforce Specialist, at