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Addressing language barriers seen as step toward alleviating Iowa’s worker shortage


Axios Des Moines: The number of people with limited English proficiency increased by more than 70% in Des Moines’ four-county metro area since 2000, according to a new report from the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. Worker shortages can be better alleviated by adequate language assistance, which refugee advocates say fosters job readiness, community engagement and economic self-sufficiency. There are 29,146 people age 5 and older in Polk, Dallas, Madison and Warren counties who have limited English proficiency, according to 2019 census estimates. That’s up from 16,994 in 2000.

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