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DSM Forward Health Care Pipeline

Health Care Workforce Webinar

The Greater Des Moines Partnership DSM Forward webinar series offers insight on moving the Greater Des Moines (DSM) region forward in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. As plans are made and businesses reopen, The Partnership has put together resources for employers at DSMpartnership.com/DSMForward.

Jacki Esposito, director of U.S. policy and advocacy for WES Global Talent Bridge and director for IMPRINT, along with Katherine Gebremedhin, director of state and local initiatives at WES Global Talent Bridge, and Mike Zimmer, senior policy consultant for WES Global Talent Bridge presented during a recent webinar on “The Urgency to Rebuild a Healthcare Talent Pipeline.”

Brain Waste

In the webinar, Esposito discusses brain waste, or underutilization of skills and education resulting in unemployment and underemployment. While 34% of immigrant workers in Iowa have a college degree or higher, nearly 23% are under-employed or unemployed. Factors playing into this include: inadequate recognition, lack of education/work experience in the U.S., low social capital and limited proficiency in English.

Professional Licensing

Zimmer touches on opening up pathways for internationally trained health professionals. During COVID-19, best practices include:

  • Identifying Iowa staffing needs
  • Leveraging the Governor’s emergency authority to adjust licensing requirement
  • Providing technical assistance for COVID-19 licensing reform and/or long-term reform


Gebremedhin gives in-depth explanations of programming opportunities for unemployed and underemployed nurses and health workers, including NY Best, MN BRIIDGE and the Welcome Back initiative.

Future Health Care Opportunity

Pat Steele, director of Central Iowa Works, speaks on rebuilding the health care workforce post-pandemic. While elective procedures and surgeries were delayed, creating job loss, the health care sector is expected to bounce back. However, as the population and age of the population are both expected to increase within the state, the need for health care workers and nurses will continue to grow. In Iowa, there is also the challenge of diversity within this sector, with people of color and foreign-born individuals clustered in the lower paying health care jobs. To improve the future of health care in the state, the workforce must be diversified, educated and trained, working conditions must be improved and foreign-trained professionals must be utilized better.

See the entire webinar below:



COVID-19 resources from WES Global Talent Bridge can be found here. Central Iowa Works also offers resources to support and rebuild your workforce here.

You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.