The Quad Cities Chamber will be working with Black Hawk College, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, and the Iowa Workforce Development’s Regional Research Bureau to conduct three research studies related to existing and future workforce.

The three studies are:

·Laborshed Employment Study, being conducted by the Iowa Workforce Development’s Regional Research Bureau

·Skills 2020 Survey, being done by Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, and

·Graduate Inventory Report, being completed by Black Hawk College.

The data resulting from the three studies will depict the region’s existing workforce, the skill set employers believe they will need to fulfill jobs in 2020, and the pipeline of degreed workers produced annually by local post-secondary educational institutions.

"Workforce is one of the most important factors in economic development today,” says Paul Rumler, Chief Economic Development Officer, Quad Cities Chamber. "The Chamber, Black Hawk College, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, and Iowa Workforce Development have aligned efforts to identify our existing labor pool and future workforce needs in order to support economic development in the region.”

Laborshed Employment Study

The Iowa Workforce Development’s Regional Research Bureau will begin a laborshed employment study next week for the Quad Cities region which includes Clinton, Muscatine, and Scott Counties in Iowa and Henry, Mercer, and Rock Island Counties in Illinois. This study will examine the labor force from which Quad Cities regional employers draw their employees and are based upon commuting patterns into the area. The study will assist existing and potential businesses in better understanding the size and characteristics of the area’s labor force.

The laborshed boundary is based on the place of residence of individuals commuting into the Quad Cities region for employment. Iowa Workforce Development will send letters to employers requesting that they provide aggregate counts of their employees’ residential zip codes. This reporting will demonstrate where each community’s workforce resides. From there, a confidential household telephone survey will be conducted in those identified areas. Questions will cover topics such as: employment status, current and desired wages, current and desired benefits, education level, and type of occupation. Survey results will be applied to demographic data to determine the size of the area labor force characteristics. Iowa Workforce Development will not be asking survey takers any identifiable information such as name, social security number, or date of birth.

Skills 2020 Survey

In November 2015, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges will be requesting participation from regional businesses in an important economic development initiative, the Skills 2020 Survey. The survey will look specifically at employment and training needs leading into 2020 from companies in advanced manufacturing, transportation & logistics, healthcare, and information technology sectors. While survey responses will be handled in confidence, data will be aggregated for the development of education and training programs needed to address our future workforce needs.

Graduate Inventory Report

The Graduate Inventory Report, coordinated by Blackhawk College, describes the level and distribution of educational attainment as reported by institutions of Higher Education within a 90 mile radius of the Quad Cities. The data are aligned to the Target Industries identified by the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce and promote the Quad Cities region’s availability of skilled and educated workforce to meet the needs of existing companies and to attract new and growing companies to the Quad Cities. The report reflecting the graduates of the 2014 academic year will be completed by December.

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