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Ask Mr. Answer Person: "What are we doing to make sure there are enough employees in Decorah?"

Posted: Mon, Mar 13, 2017 4:30 PM

(Dave e-mails Mr. Answer Person: "I read about Decorah looking at a number of issues such as a municipal utility and others--all good issues and I don't disagree with these considerations, but when you look at the "jobs available but not filled" ads, you have to ask WHY is Decorah not actively thinking about how do we help local businesses grow their employment?  It's not only a Decorah problem, but a state problem, yet Decorah with its uniqueness seems to be less than aggressive or simply ignoring the issue. I realize it's a tough issue, but what are we "actively" doing anything to solve the problem?"):

Mr. Answer Person discussed this issue with Winneshiek county Development Executive Director Stephanie Fromm.  Here's her response:

"Winneshiek County Development is actively looking at helping local businesses grow throughout the county. Many businesses say the number one concern to help their employment base is the need for affordable housing in the area. In 2017, our organization is facilitating a county-wide Affordable Housing Assessment which will help determine what types of housing is needed and what affordable housing looks like for each community. This will in turn provide the communities the necessary information to pass on to area developers to prove there is a "need" for specific housing.

Also in 2017, our organization plans to be a part of a regional workforce and labor study. This study will help determine where our current workforce travels to and from, what types of jobs and pay are people willing to travel for, and will also provide a workforce road map that will help our area businesses with recruiting tactics.

Workforce and housing are two strategic goals for our organization in the coming years."