Gov. Kim Reynolds launched a new promotional campaign this week designed to lure people in other states to visit or put down roots in Iowa, which has been suffering from a labor shortage.
Dubbed “This Is Iowa,” the campaign got off the ground this week with the governor’s announcement at a new restaurant in Des Moines. The marketing campaign aims to portray the state as an affordable haven free of snarling traffic and full of amenities, recreational options and cultural attractions.
The campaign was launched with the release of a YouTube video capturing New York City residents’ expressions of shock and amazement at the availability of large, modern apartments in Iowa, all affordably priced and close to metro areas with high-tech employment centers.
“With the entire country struggling to attract and train a quality workforce, Iowa has taken the lead in addressing this challenge holistically,” Reynolds said in a prepared statement. “This Is Iowa will raise awareness to the numerous opportunities that exist to establish careers, raise families and have new experiences. There has never been a better time to tell our story and to encourage both businesses and people to make Iowa their home.”
With one of the lowest jobless rates in the nation – 2.4 percent as of April – Iowa is using the marketing campaign to complement in-state efforts to get people trained for in-demand jobs, apply for internships or take advantage of other learning opportunities in the state, Reynolds said.
A survey commissioned by economic development officials in the state found that close to 70 percent of those visiting a location give serious thought to a permanent move after an enjoyable visit. But most people don’t think of Iowa as home to innovative careers and cultural attractions, the research found.
“Iowans are humble by nature, so we tend not to brag about life here,” Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Finance Authority, said in a statement. “As a result, people have outdated perceptions of our state.”
The This Is Iowa campaign will reach people both inside and outside the state using social media venues such as Twitter and Instagram, advertising and other digital outreach efforts, according to the Governor’s Office.
The marketing efforts dovetail with Reynolds’ efforts earlier this month to encourage Iowans to apply for grants through the Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund. That effort was funded through state legislation providing $1.2 million toward efforts to help employees around the state gain more training and credentials for more promising jobs.