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TMCNet:  Study will determine where local workforce lives

[November 09, 2012]

Study will determine where local workforce lives

CLINTON, Nov 09, 2012 (Clinton Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Residents can anticipate phone calls from the Iowa Workforce Development office in the coming months as it works with the Clinton Regional Development Corp. to complete a Laborshed employment study for Clinton and surrounding communities.

The study, which was last updated in 2010, will show the potential labor force from which Clinton- area employers draw their employees based on commuting patterns into the area.

"It's the number one item companies look at when they consider coming to an area," CRDC President and CEO Steven Ames said.

According to Ames, the study is crucial to attracting new industry because it will give a better understanding of the area's labor force.

"You may have the best site, the best location, but one of the things you need to have is the population with the skill set to meet the standards for the positions they want to fill," Ames said.

The study is based on the place of residence of people working in the Clinton area. Employers in the area will be asked to provide aggregate counts of their employees by ZIP code to give the Workforce Development Office a picture of where the community's workforce lives.

Once that is determined, a confidential, household telephone survey will be conducted in those areas. Questions will cover topics such as employment status, wages, benefits, education and occupation. According to Iowa Workforce Development labor market analyst Ryan Murphy, residents will not be asked for information such as date of birth and social security numbers.

The calls will be made from a call center in Cedar Rapids between 9 a.m and 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday beginning in a couple of weeks and into December.

Calls will not be made in the days surrounding the holidays, Murphy said.

Survey results will then be applied to demographic data to develop a potential labor force profile of the Laborshed area.

Ames said he believes the study will be beneficial to the area and cited the strong partnerships with the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges that enable the community to react to what existing and potential employers are looking for in their workforce.

"It allows us to bring investment into the region and expand our industry base," Ames said. "Without that information you're at a disadvantage and you're competing in the global marketplace." Data collection for the study will begin within the next two weeks. The study will be completed within three to four months.

For questions, contact Murphy at (515) 281-7505.

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