Iowa now the first state in nation to honor family-friendly employers

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Iowa is the first state to recognize family-friendly employers with a Best Place for Working Parents designation.

Iowa is the first state to recognize employers with family-friendly policies, such as workplace flexibility and child care assistance, with a “Best Place for Working Parents” designation, the Iowa Economic Development Authority announced Wednesday.

The designation is now 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 Wednesday 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 Gov. 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,” said Debi Durham, executive director of IEDA and the Iowa Finance Authority.

Iowa employers can quickly determine whether they qualify for the Best Place for Working Parents® designation through a confidential online self-assessment. The assessment 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/.

The Best Place for Working Parents is a growing national network of business leaders proving that family-friendly is business-friendly. Originating in Fort Worth, Tex., The Best Place for Working Parents seeks to support businesses with research-backed strategies that benefit working parents and businesses’ bottom line. Learn more at www.bestplace4workingparents.com.

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