As the fastest-growing metro in the Midwest (U.S. Census Bureau, 2016), Greater Des Moines (DSM) has ample opportunities for foreign-born talent. In fact, DSM has seen 25.1 percent growth in its foreign-born population, according to the American Community Survey (ACS) for 2009-2014. This is compared to a 9.8 percent national average. In 2009, 53.6 percent of foreign-born recent arrivals came to us directly from abroad (ACS), while more recently, in 2014, 54.2 percent of foreign-born arrivals came to us from another city in the U.S. The region is quickly becoming a popular choice for immigrants already living in the U.S. to relocate (ACS). The Greater Des Moines Partnership recognizes the skills available to DSM employers in the growing foreign-born population. It is The Partnership’s goal to match these skill sets to major employers.
The DSM region is one of inclusivity. From multicultural receptions every February, May, August and November to inclusion webinars — such as An Introduction to Understanding Unconscious Bias, Untapped Potential: Refugee Resettlement and Workforce Opportunities and more — free and open to the public, the resources available to foreign-born talent in DSM continues to grow. INclusion magazine is published bi-annually and celebrates the importance of diversity in DSM. Inclusive hiring practices are integral to the success of DSM businesses. Learn more about inclusion in DSM USA.
Global DSM: International Talent Strategy
Every year, approximately 5,000 international students attend colleges and universities in Greater Des Moines (DSM). Upon graduation, less than 5 percent of those enter into the workforce in DSM. The Partnerships aims to provide workplace opportunities for these students to entice them to stay in DSM. In order to meet this goal, The Partnership developed Global DSM: International Talent Strategy in an effort to attract and retain foreign-born persons to DSM — including students and beyond.
Through the Global DSM: International Talent Strategy, The Partnership’s focus is on employers and the international students and foreign-born talent seeking employment. For employers, this means educating employers about the pool of foreign-born talent available to fill important jobs in the community and sharing best practices. For foreign-born students and talent seeking employment, this means offering networking opportunities with DSM employers, providing support to help learn workplace culture and more.
Learn more about the International Talent Strategy.
What The Partnership Provides to Foreign-Born Talent
To learn more on the following services provided by The Partnership, contact Sanjita Pradhan at spradhan@DSMpartnership.com.
- Navigating Employment – The Partnership’s team can offer support and guidance to help learn workplace culture and provide a variety of learning and networking opportunities with DSM employers.
- Transferring Skill Sets – Guidance is available regarding the transferability of foreign degree licensure, credentialing and work experience.
- Entrepreneurial and Business Connections – With a vast network of business and community contacts, as well as well-versed startup and entrepreneurial initiatives, The Partnership is a great resource to help get entrepreneurial ideas or business startups off the ground.
- Trailing Spouse Job Assistance – The Partnership is able to help spouses find job placements within the community as well.
- Community Tours for Relocating Families – For families new to the region, community tours are available by request.
- Relocation Assistance – The Partnership can provide you and your family in-depth information to help you prepare to relocate here, or help you further connect to the community and resources after relocating.
- Find Jobs and Internships – The Partnership’s Career Center is a resource for candidates to search and apply for career opportunities. Search and apply for jobs and internships, and post your resume for employers to contact you directly!
- Welcome to DSM USA Receptions – Attend a Welcome to DSM USA reception to meet other new residents of DSM. Find more info on The Partnership’s events page.
Iowa International Center – The goal of the Iowa International Center is to build cultural respect at home and around the world, one person at a time. The center works to provide access to educational and cultural resources to foreign-born talent in an effort to enhance Iowa’s inclusivity and retain professionals.
Welcome to Iowa – Multilingual Resources Center – The Welcome to Iowa website is a resource for new Iowans and non-English speakers to aid in the transition to Iowa. Make connections and find links for an array of resources, including food, housing, law and legal matters, transportation and more.
Diversity in DSM is celebrated through many annual festivals and events, including:
- CelebrAsian, held annually in May, celebrates Asian culture in DSM.
- The Greek Food Fair, held annually in June, celebrates home-style Greek favorites.
- The Latino Heritage Festival, held annually in September, builds awareness on the Latin culture in DSM.
- World Food & Music Festival, held annually in September, celebrates cuisine and entertainment from around the world.
- Italian-American Heritage Festival, held annually in July, features artistry, crafts and imported Italian products.
- I’ll Make Me A World in Iowa, held annually in February, celebrates Iowa’s African American arts, culture and contributions.
- Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit, held annually in November, showcases successes of local immigrant entrepreneurs, as well as serves as a opportunity for networking and sharing of entrepreneurial best practices.