Skip to content

Workforce Solutions

Talent Recruitment Tools and Resources

The Siouxland tri-state region continues to experience tremendous growth through current business expansion and companies choosing Siouxland as their new home. With this success comes challenges. Our most significant challenge remains low unemployment rates in the region, and therefore, a shortage of workforce across many occupations and sectors. Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota have consistently ranked in the top five lowest unemployment percentages over the past 10 years. Here is a closer look:

Iowa: Current unemployment rate - 3.2%. The last time Iowa was above a 5% unemployment rate was October 2012.

Nebraska: Current unemployment rate - 2.3%. The last time Nebraska was above a 5% unemployment rate was January 2011.

South Dakota: Current unemployment rate - 2.0%. The last time South Dakota was above a 5% unemployment rate was February 2011.

Siouxland (Sioux City, IA-NE-SD): Current unemployment rate - 2.6%. The last time Siouxland's unemployment rate was above 5% was March 2013.

The unemployment numbers above illustrate the lack of available workforce in our tri-state community, which is limiting potential growth for Siouxland businesses and negatively impacting the overall health of the local economy.

Siouxland is actively addressing the workforce shortage with a number of initiatives.

  • Iowa Talent Poll - The Iowa Chamber Alliance, made up of the 14 largest Chambers of Commerce in Iowa, conducted a Talent Poll to help determine what attracts Iowans to the state and better understand Iowa's strengths and weaknesses. This is the second year of the poll. This year we were surprised to find that the top reason people are leaving Iowa was for job opportunities. Another interesting finding was that while safety was a top attribute, it was not #1. As expected, the poll found that Iowan's generally feel good about their state and that inflation was the top priority for 2023.Taking this one step further, Sioux City will be one of 17 pilot communities taking part in the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) This Is Iowa Talent Attraction Project. The goal is to make Iowa the choice for visitors and residents alike. The pilot project will focus on four key strategies: workforce research, marketing, alumni partnerships, and lead nurturing.
  • SUMMER IN SIOUXLAND - For the third year, Siouxland hosted the Summer in Siouxland program for summer interns.  Twenty-five interns participated this summer from a number of schools throughout the region. Throughout the program the interns learned about their innate talents with the CliftonStrengths assessment and explored our community through a trolley tour that featured new businesses, downtown apartments, and the riverfront. They also heard from a panel of professionals about transitioning from college to the real world, renting versus buying, and employee benefits. Finally, they worked on their networking skills by joining the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce for a Rush Hour Connect event.
  • ENTREPRENEURIAL EFFORTS - Iowa’s West Coast Initiative (IWCI), established in 2015, serves Woodbury, Plymouth, and Monona counties with the goal of fostering entrepreneurial activity and supporting small business growth in northwest Iowa. To cultivate the entrepreneurial culture, IWCI collaborates with regional partners to host networking events, organizes business idea competitions, offers opportunities to secure startup capital, provides specialized educational programs and technical assistance, and identifies resources and programs that can benefit the local business community.IWCI was awarded $100,000 under the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to utilize for targeted outreach to small businesses in underserved communities, providing technical assistance and connecting them to available resources and services. Since December 2021, IWCI and the Siouxland Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) have actively participated in the Community Navigator Pilot Program. During this period, the program has had a notable impact:
    • Served 46 underserved entrepreneurs
    • Helped submit 18 loan applications totaling $3.5 million
    • Provided over 230 consulting hours

    IWCI, Morningside University, Drake University, and SEDC have also partnered to spur rural entrepreneurship and engage in targeted outreach to entrepreneurs in underserved communities.  The partnership was awarded $360,650 from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) over a two-year period.