In May, 2015, North Iowa Area Community College invited a group of employers, educators, and economic developers to serve on an Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board for the purpose of discussing their workforce concerns, needs and issues in Region 2 (Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Mitchell, Winnebago, and Worth counties and parts of Butler, Chickasaw, Kossuth and Wright counties). High growth, high turnover positions were identified by employers which laid the foundation for the accompanying career pathways map. The map does not identify all occupations within advanced manufacturing, but it does give information to potential new workers about current jobs needed in the region. The jobs are not specific to any one employer but do reflect the current needs of participating employers as aggregated in Region 2.
In addition to the occupations in demand, the pathways map also includes information on the minimum skills and competencies needed to be successful in the positions including education degrees and specialized certifications. This information will assist youth and unemployed individuals with an accurate picture of training and skills required to be successful in their job search along with advancement opportunities. Students may want to use this as they plan for future careers. Based on an individual’s skills, experience, education and certifications, they can enter the pathways map at any level.
The wages included on the map are also aggregated from the participating employers in this region and provide information on the starting wage ranges for each step on the pathway. To be qualified for the higher level jobs, individuals will need to have the skills and competencies at that level and all preceding levels. They will also be accumulating the experience necessary for career advancement.
It is also important to recognize that the wages listed do not include benefits. While adults are acutely aware of the value of benefits, younger workers may not be as familiar. It was felt that utilizing wages without benefits would provide a better comparison for the younger workers with the wages they currently receive from their part-time jobs. On average an individual can expect to earn approximately 30% in additional benefits as part of their total compensation. Each employer has a company specific plan they provide. These plans may include such benefits as healthcare, retirement, life insurance, paid time off (vacation and sick leave), and paid holidays.