Laborshed study will identify Ottumwa's economic potential

The Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with Iowa Workforce Development, will be conducting a Laborshed employment study for the greater Ottumwa area over the next few months.

The study compiles a makeup of the region's labor force, gathering information on pay patterns and benefits, skill sets and the number of unemployed and underemployed in Ottumwa and the surrounding community. Once the study is complete, it will provide valuable information for existing and new businesses.

"For us as economic developers, for education professionals or businesses in the area, for site selectors, a lot of employee information that a lot of us need in order to help do the best job we can in retaining our positions and then trying to attract somebody new to the area," said David Barajas, Executive Director for the Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation.

Iowa Workforce Development will contact employers and employees in the area for a confidential survey. Once the full reports are released in January 2013, the Laborshed study is good for the next two years. The last study for the Ottumwa area was conducted in 2008.

The Ottumwa EDC and Iowa Workforce Development is teaming up with a number of local entities for the study, including Opportunity Squared, Area 15 Regional Planning Commission, Indian Hills Regional Development, Indian Hills Community College, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Des Moines Area Community College, Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative, Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy.