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Iowa city makes effort to curb young wanderlust [Michael Kinsman] There are people in this world who think that Des Moines, Iowa, is not all that bad a place to live and work. In fact, some are downright proud of the city.

So why do graduates from Iowa universities

The goal is to call attention to the Midwest

“And, we now see students who say they

invariably turn tail and head for what they

city’s best attributes, to demonstrate that

didn’t realize that a city like Des Moines has

presume are brighter prospects elsewhere?

Des Moines holds promise for career and

all this downtown housing, a vibrant social

social adventures as alluring as those

life for young adults and more walking and


hiking trails than any city in the United

“Unfortunately, that’s what often happens here,” said Jenna Woline, a member of

States. We’ve had to add this into our

the Greater Des Moines Partnership and a

“We took a look around and found that so

recruiter for the Palmer Group, a Des Moines

many college graduates were leaving for

staffing firm.

other regions that we had a cultural gap in

Friedman says her company has had the

our city,” Woline says. “We wanted to find a

chance to interview each of the 12 college

way to keep those young people here.”

students and how is watching them as they

Woline should know. As soon as she graduated from college, she left Iowa and headed to Washington, D.C. “I got the itch,” she said. “But after a while in Washington, I began to miss a lot of things about the everyday life here and I started looking at Iowa in a new light.” The phenomenon of young people leaving their hometowns for big city bright lights is nothing new. But when it becomes so prevalent that it affects the demographic balance of a city like Des Moines, it’s time to challenge those young people by showing that the grass isn’t always greener.

recruitment process.”

complete exercises to show why they should So the competition was launched, starting

be hired.

with a field of 12 job candidates who hoped to hear the phrase “You’re hired” by Allied

“We are getting a chance to see if what

Insurance - A Nationwide Co., The Des

we thought about them in the interview

Moines Register, Principal Financial Group or

process is true,” she said. “We’re looking at

Wells Fargo.

their leadership skills, their strengths and how they capitalize on them and how they

Monica Friedman, human resources director

compensate for their weaknesses.

for Allied Insurance, thinks this competition has been invaluable to her company.

“You don’t normally get to witness this in the hiring practice. We’re learning a lot more

“This generation of students isn’t as

about these people than we did before.”

concerned with employment opportunities as they are with finding a good place to live,”

And, she says, Allied Insurance probably

“I went to college in Iowa City - in eastern

she said. “That’s different from previous

will make job offers to more than one of the

Iowa - where a lot of students from Chicago

generations. They choose a city first and then

students in the competition.

also went,” Woline says. “But when they

expect to find a job there.” The competition has changed the way at

graduated, they all headed back to Chicago.” That has caused her to change her hiring

least one students is looking at his future.

That’s why the Greater Des Moines

philosophy. Companies now have to sell a

Benton Hendrix, who left Colorado to attend

Partnership’s Young Professionals

lifestyle as much as career opportunities.

Drake University in Des Moines, figured he would head back to Colorado after his May

Connection is trying to retain the best and brightest of its college graduates with

“We have to do a better job of selling what

graduation. Now, participation in the hiring

a campaign known as “Four Hire!” Four

our region has to offer,” Friedman said “We

campaign has him thinking.

local companies have stepped up, each

always knew that was important, but now we

guaranteeing to offer at least one top-flight

are really putting a focus on it.

job to students graduating this spring.


“Now I’m not so sure about that,” he said. “Knowing that there are all these people who

continued on back


are enough about their community to try and make it better really says something about the place. It makes you want to stay and be part of that.� Š Copley News Service


1.800. 973. 1177

Iowa city makes effort to curb young wanderlust  

Iowa City makes effort to curb young wanderlust. The Des Moines Register, Principal Financial Group or Wells Fargo.

Iowa city makes effort to curb young wanderlust  

Iowa City makes effort to curb young wanderlust. The Des Moines Register, Principal Financial Group or Wells Fargo.