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EDGE Report Card Shows Significant Educational Progress for DSM USA

Education Drives our Greater Economy (EDGE)

December 18, 2018

GREATER DES MOINES, IOWA (Dec. 17, 2018) – A new report card shows significant progress toward a regional goal aimed at increasing the education and career-ready level of the Greater Des Moines (DSM) workforce. A total of 65.3 percent of working-age (25-64-years-old) DSM residents in the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s eight-county service area have completed education beyond high school. This is a 14 percentage point increase since 2008 and a 3.6 percentage point increase since 2016, according to Iowa Workforce Development’s 2017 Laborshed Study.

This new data shows significant progress toward the Education Drives our Greater Economy (EDGE) shared regional goal of ensuring 75 percent of DSM working-age adults, or those in the 25-to-64-year-old age range, have degrees, certificates and other credentials by 2025 that align with workforce needs. The goals of EDGE align with the goals of the statewide Future Ready Iowa initiative. Research shows more than 70 percent of jobs in DSM will require some postsecondary experience by 2025. The 75x25 goal addresses this need. This goal will be met by a variety of tactics including 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. Iowa Workforce Development data also indicates that an additional 14 percent of the region’s working age adults have had some post-secondary experience but have yet to complete their education resulting in a degree, certification or credential award, indicating they are prime candidates to gain new skills and contribute toward the goal.

To help carry out these tactics, EDGE engages:

  • Local parents and prospective residents with Pre-K to higher education students.
  • The business community to cultivate further upskilling of the existing workforce.
  • Working-age adults interested in gaining new or expanding career skills.
  • An untapped talent pool, ensuring all are capable of reaching their full skill potential.

“This data shows that our region continues to make progress in upskilling residents and attracting new talent that aligns to current and future workforce needs,” said Mary Bontrager, Executive Vice President of Talent Development at The Partnership. “It is important that our entire community supports this goal in whatever way they can, whether it is helping their workers gain access to higher education opportunities, tapping into talent that is traditionally underemployed or any number of other tactics.”

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 Greater Des Moines Partnership is committed to carrying out the 75x25 goal through its work.

Those interested in getting involved in EDGE should contact Bontrager at mbontrager@DSMpartnership.com. Learn more about EDGE and view the report card at DSMpartnership.com/edge. 

About the 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 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,400 Regional Business Members and more than 340 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.