Iowa is the first state to recognize employers with family-friendly policies with a new “Best Place for Working Parents” designation, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced this week.
The designation, which recognizes policies such as workplace flexibility and child care assistance, is available to employers of all sizes in Iowa who qualify through an online assessment.
“Iowa faces an ongoing workforce shortage like most states, and we are committed to providing the necessary support our families, businesses and economy need to prosper,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a news release. “This new program recognizes employers for their investments in child care, helps them attract and retain working parents, and encourages competition and continued investment in Iowa’s families.”
Iowa’s participation in the national Best Place for Working Parents initiative delivers on a key recommendation from Governor Reynolds’ Child Care Task Force. The task force convened last year after the Governor’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board made confronting Iowa’s shortage of quality, affordable child care its top priority.
Iowa is a national leader in the share of households with all parents working. Family-friendly workplace policies benefit both working parents and businesses’ bottom line, research shows.
For example, child care-related absences and employee turnover cost Iowa employers an estimated $781 million per year, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
“This new designation provides an economic development lever as today’s workforce needs continue to evolve and Iowa works to attract the talent we need for our businesses to grow and our communities to thrive,” Debi Durham, executive director of IEDA and the Iowa Finance Authority, said in a news release.
Iowa employers can quickly determine whether they qualify for the designation through a confidential online self-assessment. It also helps businesses understand how they compare to others of similar size and industry across each of the program’s top 10 family-friendly policies.
More information about The Best Place for Working Parents Iowa program can be found at iowaeda.com/best-place-for-working-parents-iowa/.