• Race is on to attract, retain in-demand IT workers in Iowa

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    August 31, 2017

    With competition for talent at a fever pitch, companies like Grinnell Mutual, Hy-Vee Inc. and others are adding perks to attract and retain highly sought after tech workers. The pool of qualified applicants is smaller than the growing number of tech jobs in Iowa and across the nation.

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    Computer-related jobs account for nearly 2 percent of Iowa’s workforce and 4 percent of the jobs in Polk and surrounding counties, including Boone, Dallas, Jasper, Madison, Marion, Story and Warren. Both numbers are expected to continue to grow in the next several years, according to Iowa Workforce Development projections.

    Five of the 25 fastest growing occupations in the region are computer-related: operations research analysts, web developers, software developers-applications, computer systems analysts and software developers-systems software.

    “This is the highest level of competition for tech jobs we’ve seen since Y2K,” said P.J. Amys, director of IT search and recruiting for the Palmer Group in West Des Moines. “Technology is moving so quickly and so much of it is new that companies want different types of workers with wide skill sets.”

    There are about 76,000 tech workers in Iowa, according to the Technology Association of Iowa. The tech industry accounts for about $10.7 billion of the state’s economy, the association said. Overall, tech jobs pay upward of $40,000, often double, triple that amount depending on the job and company.

    The high demand for workers, combined with the state’s low unemployment rate of 3.1 percent, is prompting workers to job hop. As a result, more companies are adding extras to the list of traditional benefits, said Tyler Wyngarden, director of membership and development for the association.

    See the full article on The Des Moines Register