Tim Whipple, general counsel of the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, says members of his organization struggle, like many others, to find enough workers as the unemployment rate in Iowa continues to be among the nation’s lowest. 

“My members are really under a pinch for workforce,” Whipple said. “They’re small towns, most of them. Particularly in northwest Iowa, where unemployment rates are really low, we have great need for water operators and for electric linemen. My organization operates apprenticeship programs for gas operators, for linemen, for safety, for water training. There’s just so many jobs in rural electric cooperatives and the investor-owned utilities. We all have a need for this kind of workforce and to make sure people are still going into energy careers.”