Labor analytics play a crucial role in site selection and location analytics. Finding the right mix of available, qualified workers and solutions that will generate an ongoing pipeline of talent is critical to a company’s ability to compete long term in a region.
Overall population might be deceiving when it comes to finding the right workforce. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids are a Combined Statistical Area (CSA) of 428,398. Our region includes two Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) which in close proximity share workforce. If a client is only looking at the population of the Iowa City MSA (164,121) or the Cedar Rapids MSA (264,277), they would miss the full workforce picture in ICR IOWA. This is only compounded by workforce that is available to commute into our region from neighboring areas. According to Iowa Workforce Development our total workforce availability is 617,155 individuals.
In recent attraction projects, we have competed with regions that have a larger metro population, that might seem like a better fit for a company with a significant workforce need. However, once we dug into the data, it was fairly easy to see that the size of our ICR workforce with the right skill sets for these projects outpaced competing regions, regardless of population size once adjusted for a 30 mile radius/30 minute commute of a site in ICR. We also contend our strong workforce recruitment, training, and retention solutions through our regional workforce and educational partnerships (ICR TALENT & ICR FUTURE) give us a significant strategic advantage.
An important indicator of workforce is industry clusters. Location quotients measure how many more times an industry is concentrated in a labor market than on average with the rest of the country. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, ICR stands out in quite a few areas:
- Breakfast Cereal Manufacturing 82X
- Wet Corn Milling 52X
- Appliance Manufacturing 43X
- Navigation, Guidance, Aeronautical, and Nautical System & Instrument Manufacturing 39X
- Copper Rolling, Drawing, Extruding & Alloying 10X
- Toilet Preparation Manufacturing (personal care products) 9X
- Educational Support Services 8X
- General Freight Trucking 8x
- Direct Life Insurance Carriers 7x
- Ag Equipment Manufacturing 6X
In addition to examining this data, our team meets regularly with local business owners, CEO’s, Plant Managers, and HR executives to gather insight on labor effectiveness, preparation, determination, and ability to get the job done. Bi-annual regional workforce surveys, existing industry reports, and talent forecasts help us share detailed information about our workforce with site consultants and companies interested in our market.
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