Mills County Courthouse

Mills County Courthouse

(Glenwood) -- Mills County businesses and citizens are asked to participate in a survey designed to gauge the county's workforce.

The Mills County Economic Development Foundation is partnering with Iowa Workforce Development and the Iowa Economic Development Authority on a laborshed employment study for Glenwood and the entire county. Among other things, the study will geographically define which communities contribute to Glenwood's workforce--regardless of political boundaries. Rick Allely is director of the Mills County Economic Development Foundation. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Thursday morning, Allely says the study is important for a number of reasons.

"The first being our existing employers wanting to have a handle on available workforce, and commuting patterns, as they've changed," said Allely, "and then, basically, working at what skill set there is amongst the residents in Mills County, but also the continuous counties around us."

Secondly, Allely says the study gathers information vital to luring new businesses and industries to the county. Allely says surveyors will use a variety of technology to conduct the study.

"They're doing a web-based survey," he said. "They'll also be going out over the phone. And also, the potential is there that with the certain data set, that they will be sending out text notifying people ahead of time, that they'll be receiving a call for the survey."

Allely says businesses and residents taking the survey will be asked a number of job-related questions.

"One of the first ones is, commuting," said Allely, "identifying commuting patterns where people are coming from, to work in Mills County, and work in the region. Secondly, is the wages--both hourly and salaried wages--to get a handle on the averages, but also desired wages. So, they'll ask if a person is looking to make a change in employment, what would it take for them to do so."

Allely hopes for good participation in the study, as information gleamed will be used in a number of areas.

"It's important that we have accurate information," he said, "because it takes into account everything from wages and benefits. So, if an employer is here, and maybe they're struggling finding employees, and they see that their fellow businesses are offering a more extensive benefits package, in all likelihood, they'll have to beef theirs up, which actually benefits the employees--current and new."

Allely stresses study participants will be kept confidential. The study's initial outreach begins the next week to 10 days, and takes about two-to-three weeks to complete. Allely is hopeful results will be available by the foundation's March board meeting. You can hear the full interview with Rick Allely on our "Morning Line" page at kmaland.com.