Business leaders discuss Siouxland’s worker shortage at WITCC roundtable

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Siouxland’s worker shortage is impacting everything from education to healthcare, but local business leaders hope to find solutions to this ongoing problem.

Business owners met with Iowa Works representatives at Western Iowa Tech Community College to share experiences and exchange ideas. Employers expressed frustration with finding qualified applicants and reaching more people with their job postings.

Dr. Jen Gomez, director of human resources for the Sioux City Community School District said vacant jobs have forced the school district to make staff adjustments.

“Teachers possibly taking on extra assignments, increasing our susbtitute pool so we can try to maintain those class sizes,” Gomez said.

The school district is limited by the seasonal availability of new applicants, Gomez said.

“Those are going to come in waves because when we have graduates for example, so you know teachers are now in contracts, and so our next, I predict, our next wave of new teacher applicants will be in Decemeber, January,” Gomez said.

Shannon Dahl, talent acquisition partner with MercyOne, says they hope to address shortages by elevating more people from entry level positions.

“From the nursing standpoint, we have the patient safety attendant and then we support someone to move all the way through that, so people looking to do career changes, we do offer different career paths that we would support with tuition assistance and different classes that we offer here in the organization,” Dahl said.

Representatives from Iowa Works say they helped 6,400 job seekers in August and they hope meetings like these can help Siouxland’s worker shortage.

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