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Education Drives Our Greater Economy (EDGE) is a shared regional goal of ensuring 75 percent of Greater Des Moines (DSM) working-age adults have degrees, certificates and other credentials by 2025 that align with workforce needs.

Why It Matters

DSM is the fastest-growing major metro in the Midwest and has been recognized as the top place in the country to do business by publications including Forbes. To keep the positive momentum, the region must increase its talent pool and develop the right talent to meet workforce needs. Industries such as finance, health care, advanced manufacturing and others report challenges in finding a sufficient number of qualified workers to fill open positions. The Greater Des Moines Partnership, through EDGE, is committed to addressing the critical need to solving the skills gap facing DSM employers, and it is committed to helping improve the educational pipeline that is crucial to achieving a skilled workforce and human talent pipeline.

Sign Up To Pledge

Fill out the online form to pledge your support for ensuring a strong, talented and educated workforce in DSM! Here's a list of local DSM companies that are currently pledged to EDGE:

  • Aureon HR, Inc.
  • Bankers Trust
  • Brick Gentry P.C.
  • Cultivation Corridor
  • Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART)
  • Des Moines Public Schools
  • Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC)
  • DMACC — Newton Campus
  • DMACC Urban
  • DMACC — VanKirk Career Academy in Perry
  • DMACC —West Des Moines Campus
  • Drake University
  • EMC Insurance
  • Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families
  • Heartland Area Education Agency
  • Iowa Student Loan
  • ITA Group, Inc.
  • Master Builders of Iowa
  • Mercy College of Health Sciences
  • MidAmerican Energy
  • Nationwide
  • NCMIC & Professional Solutions
  • Pokorny Consulting
  • Prairie Meadows
  • Principal
  • Rock in Prevention, Inc.
  • Saxton
  • Strategic America
  • Student Voice
  • Tero International
  • TigerLily STEM
  • United Way of Central Iowa
  • UnityPoint Health — Des Moines
  • Van Meter Schools
  • Voya Financial
  • Waukee Community Schools
  • Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • West Des Moines Community Schools

How To Get Involved

This goal will be met with a combination of attracting and retaining talented people in DSM, ensuring a strong cradle through career education system and providing opportunities for the current labor pool to gain new skills. EDGE’s goal and tactics were collaboratively developed by 140 private and public partners who recognize the role education and business play in building a sustainable talent pipeline. The Partnership is committed to carrying out the 75x25 goal through its work.

As An Employer

  • Identify: Encourage employees who have not completed any postsecondary education to get on track to complete a certificate, credential or degree.
  • Train/Educate: Provide industry training for employees to learn skills that will improve performance.
  • Mentor: Encourage employees to participate in certified mentorship programs.
  • Partner: Build smoother transitions from school to work via collaborations with K-12 schools.
  • Engage: Raise awareness among employers regarding EDGE 75x25, motivating them to become engaged in the community with students and educators.

As An Educator

  • Achieve: Ensure high quality teaching and learning in classrooms.
  • Collaborate: Encourage strong leadership among all school stakeholders including administrators, teachers, students, staff and parents.
  • Expand Innovation: Set gold standards for innovative and evidence-based practices in schools and community programs.
  • Improve Accountability: Hold all education and workforce stakeholders accountable for more transparent levels of responsibility for student success.
  • Build "One Voice": Advocate at the state and federal level for policy funding on issues impacting young people from cradle through career in the region.
  • Provide Pathways: Collaborate with the business/industry community to expand and improve workforce recruitment.
  • Deliver Results: Collect complete data about workforce outcomes and leadership actions.

Sign Up To Pledge

Fill out the online form to pledge your support for ensuring a strong, talented and educated workforce in DSM!


Research shows more than 70 percent of jobs in Greater Des Moines (DSM) by 2025 will require some postsecondary experience including certifications, credentials, two-year degrees, four-year degrees and beyond. To meet this challenge, EDGE is a regional goal of 75x25 — ensuring by 2025 that 75 percent of the region’s working-age population has a postsecondary experience aligned to employer needs. Currently in the region, 65.3 percent have obtained a certificate, vocational training, two-year degree or above.

The report card below outlines educational attainment trends from 2008 to 2017 for residents in the 25-to-64-year-old age range in The Partnership’s eight-county service area — showing progress to-date in reaching the 75x25 goal. Download a printable version.