Future Iowa workforce isn’t into big cities and flashy lifestyles.

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Pictured from left to right: Olivia Cramer, Dashae Lee, Andrew Jesus, Travis Mitchell and host Justin Brady.
Pictured from left to right: Olivia Cramer, Dashae Lee, Andrew Jesus, Travis Mitchell and host Justin Brady.

Upon graduation or entering the workforce, previous generations wanted to move to the big city, seeking excitement and adventure. But Iowa students today are built different. Seeing their parents go through financial trouble, and starting their adult life as governments responded to COVID, they see things differently. They’re focused on stability, low mortgage payments, and a low cost of living… things Iowa is known for.

When it comes to picking a career path and place to live, Mountains and Oceans aren’t appealing to Travis Mitchell (Pella, IA) attending Central College, Olivia Cramer, (Lawton, MI) attending William Penn University, Andrew Jesus (Bellevue, NE) attending Iowa State University and  Dashae Lee (Clive, IA) currently at DMACC. And they aren’t alone—most of their friends have similar concerns and talk openly about debt and finances. 

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Iowa’s future workforce wants responsibility

The students also spoke on their desire to be taken seriously on day one at their future jobs. They’re painfully aware of how their generation and younger people are viewed, and they want future employers to know not everyone in their demographic are the same.

They spoke of wanting to contribute to their future companies right out of the gate, accepting of difficult challenges and responsibility on day one. Another point of concern was leadership communication. As they spend time with companies and doing internships, they see patterns of bad communication. It’s understandable that the biggest jobs won’t be given to them, but they expect leaders to communicate to them about why their job and tasks matter to the organization.

Another pattern that emerged was students desire to work in an organization demonstrates care for their community. It’s important for them to work at an organization that makes contributions in money and time. One reason Iowa appealed to them, is their shared belief Iowa’s truly do care about their community and neighbors.