Local Lawmakers: Workforce an issue ahead of 2019 Iowa Legislature

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV)-   The 2019 Iowa Legislative session kicks off in just a few days.

On Monday, lawmakers will be in Des Moines ready to take on a new year.

Some local lawmakers say workforce development will be a large issue addressed this year.

Local lawmakers say there’s a need for qualified employees in the area and, it’s an issue that could be discussed during the Legislature.

“I think that workforce is going to be the lens through which every issue is viewed this year,” says Rep. Jacob Bossman (R) Sioux City.

It’s an issue that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree needs to be addressed.

“Here in Siouxland, and really across the state, businesses and employers have been saying for quite some time that the hardest part of getting ahead in business and kind of advancing is actually finding qualified workers,” says Rep. Chris Hall (D) Sioux City.

Senator Jim Carlin says targeted jobs has been effective for the area’s manufacturing base.
Iowa Economic Development says targeted jobs is a program that creates incentives directed towards growth for local businesses.

“You know, we extended it for one year and, you know, I have every indication from Senator Feenstra that it is going to be renewed,” says Sen. Jim Carlin (R) Sioux City. “What’s that going to look like? It could be a year, it could be five years but it’s something that you couldn’t reasonably argue. It’s working very well.”

Senator Jackie Smith says education could help solve the problem.

“You know we need to fully fund education and initiatives that train people for 21st-century jobs. So, I believe there is bi-partisan support to put funds into making sure that our students graduate with a skill,” says Sen. Jackie Smith (D) Sioux City.

Local lawmakers say they’re ready to head to Des Moines to tackle a number of issues impacting their constituents.

Ashly Richardson

Ashly Richardson

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