Where will Storm Lake workers come from? A 'huge' potential for local labor market

Thursday, January 11, 2001

Of the Storm Lake area's estimated 12,331 people to be potential labor force members, 41 percent said they would be willing to change employment under the right circumstances, according to a study by the University of Northern Iowa's Institute for Decision Making (IDM).

Those figures should not be cause for concern, the study's writers say, but instead should be seen as the potential labor pool in the entire labor shed - which is approximately 6,602 potential workers.

"We just see this as the beginning," said Drew Conrad, a program manager with IDM.

James Hoelscher, program associate with IDM, said the laborshed study is usable by any type of business.

"It's a tool for Storm Lake to help understand the current labor force," he said.

With 41 percent or 5,279 current area workers expressing willingness to change jobs under the right circumstances, that doesn't show job dissatisfaction, but a potential labor force for the entire laborshed area, according to Hoelscher. The potential labor market is large, he said, with the 5,000 plus willing to change employment 783 not employed people who could potentially be tapped for the right job types.

Other cities of size similar to Storm Lake also showed similar results, Conrad pointed out. Fifty percent of Charles City's laborshed said they would be willing to change employment, while it was 37 percent in Spencer, 34 percent in Iowa Falls and 30 percent in Pella.

Read the rest of this article in the 1/11 Pilot Tribune.