Winn-Worth Betco is partnering with Iowa Workforce Development and Iowa Economic Development
Authority to complete a Laborshed employment study for Winnebago & Worth counties. This study will geographically define which communities contribute to the 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 the 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.
Beth Bilyeu Director of the Forest City Economic Development stated that zip codes are used to determine where workers are coming from to work in Forest City.
Melissa Michaelis of WINN-Worth BETCO, an economic development group for Winnebago and Worth Counties, sees this study as very helpful in recruiting and building area business and industry.
The Laborshed boundary is based on the place of residence of individuals commuting into the two-county area for employment. For the success of this study, Iowa Workforce Development will be sending letters to employers asking that they provide them with aggregate counts of their employees’ residential ZIP codes. As Bilyeu mentioned, this reporting will give them an understanding of where each community’s workforce resides.
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.