MASON CITY, Iowa - It's an issue many communities in North Iowa face: retaining a workforce and residents.
The Iowa Business Council is hosting a "Vision to Vitality" forum Monday from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Muse-Norris Center on the NIACC campus. Panelists from Mason City Schools, the Mason City Police Department, and the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation are inviting the public to come and share their ideas on how to keep residents, attract new ones, add diversity, and fuel growth in career opportunities.
Jennifer Andrade is the founder and CEO of The Avance Alliance, with the mission of recruiting talented workers from across the country, including Puerto Rico, to North Iowa.
"We've got a lot of baby boomers retiring at a very rapid rate, especially in the Midwest and Iowa where we have a strong economy. We just can't seem to keep up with the need for a workforce, especially in some of our skilled trade positions. There's a need to bring in more families and bring in more of a workforce.
"A lot of our young people, once they graduate high school, they will go off to university or a larger city, so for our rural communities, it's very important that you focus on engaging everyone. Keeping everyone that we can keep, but also bring in new people to the area."