Cedar Rapids: a highly productive force of nearly 800,000 workers

Cedar Rapids, Iowa is in the heart of an area with extensive workforce resources. In fact, within a one-hour drive, we have more than 788,000 workers, many with the skill sets and educational attainment needed for today’s technical, creative, and research jobs.

Local workers have long been known for being highly educated, hard-working, and more productive, thanks in no small part to the longstanding work ethic woven into the fabric of eastern Iowa. In fact, national companies with operations here have said that our workforce is as much as 25 percent more productive than comparable workers in other cities.

State and local governments are focused on keeping our area productive through workforce initiatives such as the Iowa Apprenticeship Program and the Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program. Our area’s K-12 and higher education providers have strong partnerships that are ensuring a steady pipeline of workers with the skills local employers need. For example, the Cedar Rapids public schools have offerings that include Project Lead the Way, the Johnson STEAM Academy Magnet School, AP programs, robotics clubs, and the Iowa BIG program.

We’re also home to a long list of higher education programs developed to support entrepreneurs and other employers. Kirkwood Community College has an array of employer-based programs delivered at multiple locations, and can even create custom on-site classes. Both the University of Iowa and Mount Mercy University have MBA programs, and Iowa State University has programs in the area that are suitable for the needs of nearly every industry. Other local providers and services include Coe College, Cornell College, and the Iowa Startup Accelerator.