Survey: Lack of Qualified Workers Hurting Iowa

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By Rachel Begle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state survey suggests Iowa lacks enough qualified workers to meet the expansion plans of Iowa companies.

The Des Moines Register reports that the shortage is the top reason businesses cite in choosing not to expand in the state.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority has been collecting the results of the ongoing survey to identify areas where Iowa could better attract new businesses or work with existing ones. The agency's director, Debi Durham, has cited the results several times.

Durham told a budget hearing Tuesday that more than 7,000 companies have been interviewed using the survey since 2007.

Iowa State economist Dave Swenson says problem is more a lack of people than a lack of skills. Swenson says Iowa isn't good at retaining its trained workers.

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