Cedar Falls, Iowa is one of the communities that gave birth to what’s called the Midwestern work ethic — a commitment to making the most of each day and taking pride in doing everything well. Companies locating here are often surprised by what that means to their business — like the employer that scaled back its hiring projections when it discovered just how productive local workers could be.

Our city is at the center of a workforce of more than 320,000 people who were steeped in a culture of agriculture and manufacturing. But that old-fashioned foundation and attitude doesn’t mean they have yesterday’s skills. Cedar Falls offers people who are highly trained in the specialties needed by today’s leading companies, and who know how to make the most of the potential offered by the area’s lightning-quick 10-gig broadband.

We’re also home to the University of Northern Iowa, one of the state’s three regent universities and highly ranked by U.S. News. In fact, UNI was recently named the Best Public College in Iowa for Getting a Job (Zippia.com)! The focus on educational quality and employer-focused programs flows throughout local education providers, with high school and adult education programs in disciplines such as advanced manufacturing, CNC machining, welding, robotics/cobotics, engineering, digital interactive media, networking/IT, electrical, plumbing, transportation, AutoCAD, hydraulics, HVAC, and many others. High schools create future-ready graduates through focused efforts in soft skills, problem-solving, project management, and career exploration, while the state’s universities have created a steady pipeline of management talent.