Students participate in a training session at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa. Credit: Hawkeye Community College

Iowa’s economy is a mixed bag. The agricultural sector is in a slump, but other elements are on the rise.

Michael Libbie, host of “Insight on Business” on 1350-KRNT in Des Moines, noted that farm income is expected to drop, but that many other areas of the economy in central Iowa are doing well.

“We’ve noticed an amazing uptick in the ability for businesses here in the Des Moines metro and central Iowa looking forward to not only hiring people, but increasing wages. We see more productivity,” Libbie said.

Mike Ralston, president of the Iowa Association of Business & Industry, said there are some continuing gaps in worker skill sets and training that need to be addressed.

“We don’t have enough workers, and those that we have, for the most part, are well trained and they are in the right spots, but we do have some training needs,” he said. “Typically community colleges and certainly colleges like UNI (the University of Northern Iowa) or private colleges, they’ve all be great about stepping up to the fore and helping address that training issue. That’s the good news. The bad news is, we still need more people.”

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