One of the most important things we work on here at the Ames Economic Development Commission is ensuring that our world-class companies in Ames and Story County are able to fill their job openings with highly qualified employees. Our Workforce Solutions program has made significant progress in accomplishing these goals over the past year and I want to highlight some of these exciting initiatives.
Our “See Yourself in Ames” summer intern program wrapped up at the end of July. We started this program several years ago and it’s grown continuously – each year more interns from Ames and Story County attend our events. The five events this summer each had more than 150 interns in attendance! The goal of the program is to encourage interns in Ames for the summer to consider choosing our community as a place of permanent residence after they graduate. Topics covered in the five sessions this year included teamwork, civic engagement, personal branding, and successfully launching your career. Nationally-recognized speakers Adam Carroll (adamspeaks.com) and Zach Mannheimer (founder of the Des Moines Social Club) both spoke to the summer interns, and ISU Football Coach Matt Campbell kicked off the summer’s events. I was pleased to hear from many interns that they felt like these events opened their eyes to the number of opportunities available right here in our community.
Our local job board, WorkInAmes.com recently got a major facelift. The site was launched in 2013 to showcase the wide range of career opportunities the Ames and Story County area has to offer and allows all local employers to post jobs at no cost. With the enhancements, the job posting/searching process has been simplified and the site is mucht brighter and more visual. Job seekers are also able to now create a profile on the site that will allow them to be notified of posted jobs that match their criteria. If you’re looking to find a new employee or if you’re looking for a new career opportunity I highly recommend checking out WorkInAmes.com. There are currently over 1500 full time, part time and internship positions posted.
Finally, I wanted to share more about our concierge program that was just unveiled. We are excited to formally roll out this multi-level program to Ames and Story County businesses as a way to assist them with their recruiting efforts. The first level of the program is available to all employers in Ames and Story county. It includes a welcome basket and prospective resident tours provided by the Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau and well as printed information from the Chamber and Bureau. The second level is available to members or investors of the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Ames Economic Development Commission. Along with all the previously mentioned benefits, employers will have access to our “Smart Choice” booklet, personal check-ins offering tips about living, working and playing in Ames/Story County and answering any questions new employees/residents might have. They will also be invited to a “Newcomer” reception. The third level of the program is available to all sponsors of our Workforce Solutions program. In addition to the benefits mentioned the employer’s new employees will have more personalized guidance as they get acclimated to our community including networking opportunities for a trailing spouse, “dining dollars” during an initial visit to the area and help with coordinating meetings for schools, sports, recreation, etc.
As you can see we’ve been busy this summer! There’s lots going on around Ames and Story County and we’re excited to provide these resources to help our employers recruit the best possible employees. If you want to learn more about how you can take advantage of these programs, or have suggestions on how we can improve them please reach out – that’s what we’re here for!
-Dan Culhane, President & CEO