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Bringing Jobs and Workers to Iowa

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) While the goal is to bring more jobs to the state to keep Iowans here, and attract out-of-state talent as well, the answer starts with the corporations and environment thats already in Iowa.

Ken Sager from the Iowa Federation of Labor says of course the state would welcome brand new businesses, but it shouldnt at the expense of incentives to move to the Hawkeye State.

"I think we need to focus more on building organizations that currently exist in Iowa and helping entrepreneurs start businesses that will employ our people and provide for our economy, said Sager.

Iowa State University Economist Dave Swenson says money spent to help smaller businesses already here is great.

My quibble is the expenditures that go to extraordinarily wealthy firms that would have expanded nonetheless, said Swenson.

"I think it's a combination of the two that needs to occur, said Rockwell Collins Martha May. Both the supportive entrepreneurship and the growth of that high tech community.

At Rockwell, Martha says no matter how it comes, they do want more competition in the area.

"We would welcome additional high tech businesses and industries to come here, said May. It  would make it easier for us to recruit."

She says when workers move to Rockwell, sometimes Iowa can be a culture shock for them and their family. Diversity Focus Chad Simmons says its what workers do when theyre away from work that can determine an economys success.

"They'll come here for work but they'll stay here if they have something greater than just again what they have at work, said Simmons.

"Everybody's fighting for the same pool of workers so that's our challenge right now, said Swenson.

Martha, like many of the people her company convinces to move to the area, is new to Cedar Rapids.

"There's something special going on here and we just got to make sure that the people we are trying to attract get a chance to see it and feel it like I have, said May.

Feel it. Like it. And help develop it.
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