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Custom Training Helps Cottingham & Butler Employees Excel

June 2, 2015

Iowa’s current economic growth and prosperity are the result of its quality education and collaborative training programs offered by its network of community colleges and three public universities. One company that has leveraged the state’s skilled workforce is Cottingham & Butler.

Founded in 1887 in Dubuque, Iowa, the 37th largest insurance broker in the U.S. has experienced 11 percent organic growth consecutively for the past 25 years. In February 2015, Cottingham & Butler announced the creation of 90 new jobs. Chief Executive Officer, David Becker, attributes much of the company’s sustainable growth to their talented and committed workforce, plus the customized programs they have leveraged with area schools.

Cottingham & Butler specializes in transportation and trucking insurance and employs more than 430 people in Iowa — many of them right out of college. As the industry has demanded advanced analytical skills, Cottingham & Butler has built strategic partnerships with local colleges to remain competitive and elevate the skills of its workforce.

Loras College in Dubuque has custom-designed its MBA Business Analytics program with the guidance of college alumnus and Oracle Corporation analyst, Rich Clayton. Clayton recently remarked that “for every job there are 21 applicants in the U.S., but in the analytics field, there is one applicant for every five jobs.” Several area businesses, including Cottingham & Butler have taken advantage of this specialized training to compete globally.

To challenge its senior sales executives and keep their skills sharp, the company turned to the sales program at the University of Northern Iowa. Professors are in discussions to develop a formalized ongoing sales curriculum specifically for Cottingham & Butler associates.

“Over the course of five years, we’ve leveraged nearly half million dollars from Iowa’s workforce training tax credit program,” said Becker. “It has been significant and incredibly valuable to our business.”

Learn how Iowa's highly-qualified insurance workforce and a network of community colleges can push your business forward.



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Iowa Economic Development Authority
200 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Phone: 1.515.348.6200
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