Iowa Survey on Early Education Needs
© 2019 Getty Images
The current unemployment rate in Iowa is 2.5%, and there are currently 40,000 people on unemployment and 60,000 job openings. As historically low unemployment continues, employers are always looking for opportunities to recruit more workers and also to retain their existing workforce. To solve this challenge, Iowa business leaders have increased wages, offered flexible work environments where possible, and expanded benefits. More recently, one of those benefits is childcare.  
Talent Forward 2019 Wrap-Up
© Photo by Ian Wagreich / © U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Each year, as the Chamber Foundation hosts the Talent Forward national workforce conference, we focus on talent—educating and training, talent tech and data, recruiting, hiring, and upskilling. With no shortage of talent challenges, the opportunities for informative discussion are endless. While a day devoted to dissecting talent-related topics could focus solely on the problems, Talent Forward is all about the solutions.

ECE is a Broken System
© 2019 Getty Images
In this country, the early childhood education system is in market failure. In recent years we have seen the greatest federal funding increases for early childhood education in history, and yet those significant investments just barely make a dent to tackle the need. In 2018, NASEM studied “how to fund early care and education for children…that is accessible, affordable to families, and of high quality, including a well-qualified and adequately supported workforce.” The report concluded that a financial windfall of around $54 billion would be required. 
Twitter Chat: Is Early Ed an Infrastructure Conversation?
On Tuesday, August 27, the Chamber Foundation partnered with Linda Smith of the BPC to host a Twitter chat discussing infrastructure challenges for early childhood education facilities. In a span of 45 minutes, the participants of this chat were able to provide more than one million Twitter accounts with data, research, and case studies arguing for early childhood education to gain a seat at the table where infrastructure conversations are happening. 
Rural Renewal
A core responsibility of a chamber or local economic development agency is to support the economic vitality of the communities they serve. To succeed in that role, it is critical to keep abreast of trends in society to anticipate change and stay ahead. By focusing on building a strong economic foundation for a rural community, that leverages existing resources and tools wherever possible, community leaders can develop a powerful toolkit for courting individuals and business to consider relocating to their towns. 
Military Spouses at AMPLIFY
© Hiring Our Heroes
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative and Grow with Google, the tech company’s economic opportunity effort, announced a collaborative effort to identify specific challenges military spouses face participating in entrepreneurial endeavors; growing small businesses, participating in remote work; and reskilling to growth industries.  

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