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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
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.
complete exercises to show why they should So the competition was launched, starting
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
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.â€? ÂŠ Copley News Service
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