Category Archives: Great Places to Work

Looking for a job? Try Iowa City!

In a time when unemployment rates seem to be skyrocketing and lead stories on the news tend to be about bailouts and layoffs, seeing Iowa City rated as on of the 30 best cities to find a job last week by CareerBuilder.com was a nice surprise. Especially for local job hunters!

According to the article, job seekers are much better off to look for employment in cities such as Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Idaho Falls, Idaho, and our own Iowa City, Iowa than New York, Chicago or Los Angles.

Why? These cities registered some of the lowest unemployment rates in September 2008 – something very few other metro areas can say. Unemployment rates were higher in 349 of the 369 U.S. metropolitan areas surveyed, which means 92 percent of cities have seen an increase in their unemployment rates.

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Get Involved, Move Up, Feel Safe

Three of the biggest benefits to living in a state like Iowa — and Cedar Rapids in particular, flood or no flood — are:

  1. It’s easy to get involved in activities you enjoy.
  2. The area is conducive to strengthening your career.
  3. It’s a place where you don’t have to worry about your personal safety most of the time.

Getting Involved

I can’t think of a more welcoming place than Iowa. And some of the most welcoming people are involved in nonprofit organizations. Volunteering is a great way to get to know those people who care about the same things you do. And now, with the aftermath of the Great Flood looming and many organizations and families displaced, people need your help more than ever. The Red Cross and other disaster relief orgs will likely need help for many weeks to come.

Love animals? The humane society would love your help. Love kids? Get involved in kids programs at the public library, the History Center or some other museum. The list goes on. Whether you’re passionate about finding a cure for a disease or helping persons with disabilities have a little fun (like I do at Miracles in Motion), you can easily find a way to put your skills to use and engage in a worthwhile activity.

Clubs are another way to get involved. Enthusiasts can have a great time around here! Just the few things I’m aware of are bike clubs, car clubs, service organizations, industry-specific groups (like the one I’m in — AAF:CR-IC), speaking clubs, flyball dog groups, etc. etc. The nice thing is, the commute is short, so you have time for family and yet you don’t have to give up your fun stuff.

Strengthening Your Career

Many fascinating industries populate the Corridor, from biotech to Web-related, transportation to food. They are all looking for quality individuals willing to work hard to make their products and services better. If you’re smart and dedicated, you can probably find yourself on a career track you’ll enjoy for many years.

Another career builder more readily available here is obtaining board experience. Many nonprofits and for-profits want people to help them in decisionmaking, raising capital and the like. It’s good for them to have you share your expertise and for you to have the opportunity to grow something beyond your 9 to 5.

Leave Your Worries Behind

Driving down the street at night, I rarely, if ever, worry about getting carjacked or some other crazy stuff going down. Although violent crime sometimes does strike, it is rare, and it’s even rarer that the bad guy gets away. Honestly, I have come to take for granted the freedom I have to do things like jog by myself or take a walk at night — things I wouldn’t consider doing in cities like Chicago or many areas of Minneapolis.

While I enjoy those cities during short visits, I know that the stress level of city life would take its toll at times. We have it pretty good in those respects here in Iowa.

Ruth Paarmann, owner of Paarlance Creative Writing, loves the idea of luring other former Iowans back to the state!

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Have you…

Considered Iowa ? 

I am pleased to announce the relaunch of the new Consider Iowa site:  www.consideriowa.org

This site is a comprehensive site to promote career opportunities that are available in the state of Iowa and also highlights why Iowa is great place to live.

Some of the features that the new site has to offer are:

Job listings

Career Developement Tools

Online Career Seminars

Virtual Company Tours

Community Information for all Major Iowa Cities

Connect with a Career Advisor

Connect with an Iowa Professional using LinkedIn….. and more!

If you are a student in Iowa or looking to take on a new career endeavour, I encourage you to visit the Consider Iowa site.  Iowa is a fantastic place to work and play.  Don’t let anyone ever convince you that there is nothing to do here!   

Consider Iowa…find a lifestyle and a career in this great state I call HOME!

 posted by: Anne Ohrt

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Best Places to Work in the Corridor

Every year The Edge Business Journal announces their Edge of Excellence Awards.  The awards recognize numerous different organizations and residents in the Corridor.  In November, 2007 The Edge announced the area’s best places to work and places with the best business growth. 

So if you’re new to the area, or just looking to change scenery, these would be great businesses to check out!

Winners for 2007 include:

Business Growth – 2007

TMone — Headquartered in Iowa City, TMone is a leading front office Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm specializing in customer relationship management (CRM) and database management.

RuffaloCODY — RuffaloCODY is a leader in providing software, consulting, fundraising, enrollment management and other innovative solutions for nonprofit organizations.  RuffaloCODY has location across the country.

Past winners: Marketing and Communications Strategies and Bankers Trust.

Best Place to Work – 2007

Geonetric – Geonetric works with hospitals and health systems to develop and implement innovative Web strategies to engage their online customers and is located in Cedar Rapids.

GreatAmerica Leasing – GreatAmerica is a national lessor dedicated to helping manufacturers, vendors, and dealers be more successful and keep their customers. GreatAmerica is headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with offices in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and Illinois.

Past winners: Clifton Gunderson, Kirkwood Community College, Genecor International and GE Commercial Financial.

Community Service – 2007

Farmers State Bank – A local bank with the mission of helping customers achieve their financial goals by connecting them with the right financial solutions. They have six locations in Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha and Alburnett.

Past Winners: Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, University Hospitals, Iowa State Bank & Trust, and Rockwell Collins.

On the The Edge’s Web site they have a list of videos of the winners.  The videos take a bit to load but they are worth it to see a first-hand glimpse into the companies and learn what makes them unique. 

If you work at one of the winning companies, and even if you work somewhere else, tell us what you think makes your place of work special.  We are lucky to have so many great companies to work for in the Corridor!

posted by: heatherjoy77

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