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Workforce Development hits home for Employers

We had a great turnout last week for WEDG's Workforce Development meeting for Washington County area employers. There were 50+ that attended, including leaders from are business, government, and non-profit organizations.

We put together a short but thorough survey to help get some feedback from the meeting. Employers that attended or that would have liked to attend are welcome to take 10 minutes to provide feedback. Click here to take our survey.

Here is an overview of the topics or organizations we covered in 2 hours:


WLC connects students and educators from Grant Wood AEA Area X school districts in Cedar, Benton, Iowa, Jones, Linn, Johnson and Washington Counties in east central Iowa looking for career information with area business professionals who are interested in preparing our region's future employees.

WLC coordinates job shadows, internships, career exploration field days, financial literacy events, and even thoughtful events for elementary school students.

Follow the WLC on Facebook too.

Rochelle Sowers is the contact for Washington County. (319) 887-3651,


Home Base Iowa is a new Iowa initiative to help veterans (from all over) find jobs, explore career paths, and make a smooth transition to civilian life in Iowa. Employers can sign up to participate on the HBI web site. Employers can also post jobs on the site. You can check out the current jobs postings at

The program director is Kathy Anderson, (515) 822-8951,

Follow HBI on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


SKILLED IOWA initiative

Skilled Iowa is an Iowa initiative that incorporates the WorkKeys® assessment system. WorkKeys® was developed by ACT® to measure individual worker’s skills in the areas of applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. The idea is to have many people take the assessment, and pair that with employers that want to use this informative tool to assist in the hiring or advancement process.

Washington County is a certified "Work Ready Community." Not that many places have met all the metrics, but a lot of people in Washington County have taken the Skilled Iowa assessment. Now we just need more employers to actually request and use the info from job seekers when they hire!

IWD's Scott Mather is the key contact in our region for Skilled Iowa. (319) 365-9474,



The Kirkwood Washington Regional Center is about to move in to a new 36,000 s.f. high tech facility in Washington. High school students from 6 area school districts will attend during the day to take duel-enrollment courses in a wide variety of career accedemies. It will also be the center for Kirkwood college students.

This is a great career training center that is a huge link between students and careers.

Tera Pickens is the Washington center director. (319) 653-4655,

Follow them on FaceBook, Twitter, and on their blog.



DaLayne Williamson of the Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD) has been spearheading an initiative to have business and industry consider new ways of managing an innovative business. Rather than a traditional leadership model where decisions are made top-down, TEAM Centered Workplaces allow for greater collaboration and employee autonomy, through Trust, Enjoyment, Accountability and Managing the Whole Person.

 Contact DaLayne Williamson at (319) 351-1137,



Kirkwood Training and Outreach Services (KTOS) has a number of professional development classes that they offer in Linn County annually. Last year, KTOS started to offer some of those classes at the nearby Johnson County ISU Extension Building at the Fairgrounds.

These excellent and affordable program offerings are an excellent, and now nearby way to offer excellent training opportunities to your business leadership.

Kirkwood also coordinates a regional Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board that has done a lot of planning and consideration of how Kirkwood and its partners can promote manufacturing and skills acquisition to help staff manufacturers with the talent they need.

Danielle Allen is the key contact at (319) 398-5888,

Follow them on FaceBook too.



For over twenty years, the Chamber is proud to host Leadership Washington, a nine session program designed to educate civic-minded individuals about current issues and concerns which face the Washington Area.

This is a great way for business leaders to learn more about how Washington and Washington County works, but also to develop great networking circles.

Contact Michelle Redlinger for more information at (319) 653-3272,



Whether or not you attended our Workforce Develoment meeting last week, if you are an employer, we would appreciate it if you decided to complete our survey. Thanks. It will really help us to know how and about what to communicate with you in the upcoming year.