Officials with Cass/Atlantic Development Corp. is partnering with Iowa Workforce Development and Iowa Economic Development Authority to complete a Laborshed employment study for the Cass County area. This study will geographically define which communities contribute to Cass County’s workforce, regardless of political boundaries. This defined area is called a Laborshed area and is based upon commuting patterns.

The purpose of this Laborshed study is to measure the availability and characteristics of Cass County area workers. Laborshed studies are useful tools for economic development teams and existing or prospective employers to understand the local labor market, make informed expansion and site selection decisions, and maintain/recruit a high-quality workforce.

For the success of this study, we will be sending letters to employers in Cass County asking that they provide us with aggregate counts of their employees’ residential ZIP codes. This will allow us to define a commuting pattern for the Atlantic area and determine what the scope and scale of Cass County’s Laborshed area is and better understand where Cass County’s workforce resides.

A confidential survey of residents will also be conducted to collect workforce characteristic information specific to the area. Residents will receive a letter directing them how to take the survey online and/or they will receive a telephone call to take the survey. The survey call originates out of Cedar Rapids, therefore, the incoming number will have the 319 area code. It is possible that you may receive a text message from their 888 number as well, alerting you to expect a call from them. Survey questions will cover topics such as: employment status, current and desired wages, current and desired benefits, education level, and type of occupation among other things. However, Iowa Workforce Development will not be asking survey takers identifiable information such as: name, social security number, or date of birth.

Every year Iowa Workforce Development conducts Laborshed studies across the State. The results of each analysis are publicly available online at www.iowalmi.gov/laborshed. If you have any questions about the Laborshed project, contact Katie Lippold at 515-281-3035 or Jennifer McEntaffer, with Cass/Atlantic Development Corp. at 712-243-2022.