|Effort to Retain Young Iowans OK'd|
February 28, 2007
Effort to retain young Iowans OK'd
By James Q. Lynch
DES MOINES — Legislation creating a “brain commission” of young Iowans to help develop strategies to curb the exodus of educated young people won committee approval Tuesday in what one sponsor suggested was an indication the Legislature is beginning to understand the seriousness of the problem as an economic issue.
“It’s not just a ‘wouldn’t it be nice if they stayed’ issue, but an economic viability issue,” Rep. Tyler Olson, D-Cedar Rapids, said about the growing shortage of young workers in
By 2030, the number of Iowans 65 or older is expected to increase by 52 percent. At the same time, the percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds is expected to drop 17.2 percent, and the percentage of 25- to 44 year-olds is expected to drop 16.7 percent.
“If companies can’t find the human resources they need in
The legislation approved by the House Economic Growth Committee would create a 15- member commission of 18- to 35-year-old Iowans to advise and assist the Iowa Department of Economic Development with attracting and retaining young adults.
Olson said the commission could propose legislation and identify the strategies that will help achieve that.
Rep. Andrew Wenthe, D-Hawkeye, 28, sees the problem both as a rural legislator and as director of external relations at
“A lot of our graduates, especially teaching graduates, leave
Businesses tell him they either can’t find young workers with the skills they need or, once those young workers get those skills and some experience, they leave for what they see as greener pastures, Wenthe said.
The commission is to file a report by January 2008 on efforts to attract and retain young adults, career opportunities and educational needs along with the movement of young adults between rural and urban areas as well as between
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