Grow Cedar Valley Shares Talent Development Update

posted on Monday, November 30, 2020 in Grow Cedar Valley

2020 has been a big year for talent development in the Cedar Valley. Grow Cedar Valley has a two-pronged approach to talent: attracting new talent and developing current talent.

In the video and update below, Will Frost, Director of Talent Development, gives an update on talent development activities that are in the process and have taken place this year.

Other talent development activities:

Select from the options below to learn more.

Community Tours

As a service, Grow Cedar Valley helps Waterloo area businesses by providing custom tours of the city to help newcomers and/or prospects and their families become acclimated to the area. These are usually high earning positions. We have provided these services to two new medical professionals since June.

Technical Assistance

Grow Cedar Valley meets with and provides specific technical assistance to our area businesses. This includes helping businesses attract new talent and develop their current workforce. We also help companies and organizations develop and implement diversity, equity, and inclusion plan to create a more inclusive workforce environment.

Community Engagement

Grow Cedar Valley actively seeks speaking opportunities to engage and inform the community on current and future workforce efforts. We presented to the Waverly Exchange Club, providing an update on region-wide equity initiatives as well as best practices for inclusion. We also presented at Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer’s Cedar Valley Community Resource Call where we spoke about the future of workforce trends in the Cedar Valley including the future of industry 4.0 in the Waterloo area.

Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program

This new and highly innovative program will set the Cedar Valley apart as a leader in early workforce development. This initiative is currently being built around assembly training and is a major collaboration amongst John Deere, the Waterloo Community Schools, Hawkeye Community College, and area manufacturing companies. This first cohort of students is planned for high school seniors from both Waterloo high schools. There will be 8-12 students participating in this pilot but will eventually be scaled to 30 students per semester. This program will be located on the TechWorks Campus in downtown Waterloo.

Black Hawk County Equity Initiative

Grow Cedar Valley participates as a partner in this community-wide initiative focusing on the health of Black Hawk County led by the Black Hawk County Health Department. Since this project started in 2019, there have been twelve community stakeholder meetings. These meetings were facilitated by Engaging Inquiry, a highly regarded national consulting firm on this subject. This initiative has allowed the stakeholders to gain clarity and find leverage so that we can act strategically regarding disparity in the community and how workforce equity relates to that disparity.

Cedar Valley Non-Profit Anti-Racism Initiative

Grow Cedar Valley partners in this initiative which is addressing the function of non-profits in addressing racism in the community. This includes how and where resources are spent and how other non-profits meet to collaborate.

Grow Cedar Valley Economic Inclusion

Economic Inclusion Network

Grow Cedar Valley’s Economic Inclusion Network meets monthly to convene business leaders and other stakeholders to develop Economic Inclusion employment strategies and featuring work being done by other partners. 

This network serves as a catalyst, partner, and, resource for inclusion in the workplace. The network averages 20-30 participants monthly with a featured partner presenting at each meeting.

Economic Inclusion Conference

The Economic Inclusion Conference is Iowa’s premier conference on Diversity, Equity, and, Inclusion. This joint conference is between the University of Northern Iowa and Grow Cedar Valley. It is made possible by the tremendous collaboration of other area stakeholders and organizations.

This year, as part of our COVID-19 response, we modified the program to accommodate safe practices. We used a virtual platform and hosted the event over two days in place of the one day originally planned. We are happy to say that we experienced the highest turnout to date. Over 380 participants registered to represent employers, employees, educators, and other community leaders.

See more talent specific information on the Cedar Valley talent & workforce page.