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Apprenticeships Play a Key Part in Retaining Iowa's Talent

Iowa Business Council Opportunities

March 16, 2022


During the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Future Ready DSM podcast, guests share insights about the employment landscape for people entering the workforce, as well as those looking to advance or change their career paths with The Partnership’s Senior Vice President of Talent Development Dr. Marvin DeJear.  

The most recent episode of Future Ready DSM welcomed Joe Murphy, executive director of the Iowa Business Council (IBC). Murphy discussed elevating Iowa’s economic vitality. IBC is about companies coming together collectively to provide jobs and opportunities for everyday Iowans. In the past two years, with the effects of the pandemic, Murphy said they have worked to enhance Iowa’s economic growth even more. 

Employment Opportunities in 2022

Prior to the pandemic, the state was in one of the worst workforce shortage crises it’s experienced, and due to the pandemic, the last two years were even worse. However, in the past couple of months, Murphy said more people are coming back into the workforce. He explained how developing young talent who can do a lot of things well, who can lead an organization or department early in their careers, is important.  

Student Development

Work-based development opportunities are crucial to getting talent into a company’s talent pipeline. From the perspective of IBC, it’s important to develop these opportunities for students early on, including high school and even before. Murphy said this allows them to: 

  1. Understand what opportunities they do and don’t like. 

  2. Learn about the opportunities within the state. 

High-paying and technical jobs exist within Iowa. IBC can make a difference by helping companies engage with students before they decide to pursue opportunities outside of the state.  

Internships, Apprenticeships + Externships 

IBC is 68% of the way toward the goal of offering 30,000 internships, apprenticeships and externships by 2025. Murphy said IBC has offered more than 20,000 opportunities since 2017, averaging a 10-15% increase each year, with the exception of 2021. Optimism is high within IBC as they identify solutions to create opportunities surrounding internships, apprenticeships and externships. In order to implement more apprenticeships within the state, where apprentices can earn a wage and learn about the trade or craft, IBC will put added emphasis into registered apprenticeship programs in 2022.  

DEI + Organizational Success

Murphy said IBC members are taking steps to make people feel welcomed not just at the company, but also in the community where that company resides. IBC has implemented dedicated time for discussions that share best practices for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives and programs at quarterly board meetings. Work-based learning opportunities can also serve as a DEI tool, showcasing opportunities and moving to eliminate barriers for more students.   

For more information, visit iowabusinesscouncil.org.  

Listen to the entire podcast above. 

The Future Ready DSM podcast brings Greater Des Moines (DSM) employment leaders and experts in to discuss the latest trends in talent attraction and retention in the region. Hosted by Greater Des Moines Partnership Senior Vice President of Talent Development Dr. Marvin DeJear. 

Future Ready DSM

The Future Ready DSM Podcast brings Greater Des Moines (DSM) employment leaders and experts in to discuss the latest trends in talent attraction and retention in the region.