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Des Moines County Secures Designation

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One southeast Iowa county is ready to take advantage of a new designation.

Des Moines County is the first county to be known as a Skilled Iowa Community.

Iowa Workforce Development Director Theresa Wahlert says the county earned the designation by exceeding four specific metrics.

The metrics include the percentage of the workforce taking a national skill assessment and the percentage of businesses hiring based on it.

Jason Hutcheson with the Greater Burlington Partnership says he will now add this designation to his economic development pitches.

He says he will be able to accurately describe the local workforce to a potential business or industry, which many locations cannot do.

Wahlert says the next challenges for Des Moines County are to encourage more people to take the skill assessment and to promote it within the local school districts.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.