May 5 Workforce Breakfast

Event Recap

Thanks to everyone who attended our Workforce Breakfast on Friday, May 5 at the Diamond Jo Casino. The Greater Dubuque Development team delivered a full presentation mostly focused on child care and current efforts to alleviate barriers and access to quality and affordable care. College outreach efforts and enhancements were also discussed to update attendees on recent actions toward recruiting and retaining our workforce.

Jason White, Vice President of Business Services, welcomed the 180+ attendees that included a number of elected officials and representatives of local and state government. After introducing Greater Dubuque Development staff and walking the audience through the event agenda, Rick Dickinson, President & CEO of Greater Dubuque Development was brought to the stage.

Rick discussed the concept and goals of the YOU can be great here campaign then shared insights and research, including results of the 2021 Levi Study, that identified child care as a critical issue for area employers and regional economic growth.

Nic Hockenberry, Director of Workforce Programming, drilled deeper into the topic of child care, discussing the impact it has on the workforce regarding availability and productivity. Nic also offered clear priorities that employees have defined in terms of quality being matched with affordability while providing various types of care including infant, flex-care, and drop-in options. The landscape of the industry was explored and information was shared about the new Greater Dubuque Child Care Professional Attraction Grant which incentivizes training and retention for child care workers new to the field.

Following Nic, Mandi Dolson, Director of Workforce Recruitment & Retention provided a workforce solutions update including an overview of the 2023 Career Services Visit, the opportunity for interns and college students to take part in Talent Dubuque, an recap of our inaugural YOU can be great here Community of Colleges event, and an overview of the College Career Fair held in March. Mandi also introduced Matt Connolly, TH Media’s Interactive Media & Database Director to cover enhancements recently implemented on the platform.

Rick Dickinson closed out the breakfast, taking questions from the audience on transportation to child care, addressing COVID impacts on woman leaving and not returning to the workforce, and gaps in access to elder care services. All topics discussed support Greater Dubuque's number one priority of retention, recruitment, and creation of workforce and the message YOU can be great here.