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Through collaborative leadership we supplied a pipeline of $812 million in new capital investment projects to strengthen and diversify the assets in Iowa. But beyond big number private-sector prospects we also work with the progressive small businesses, nonprofits, civic leaders, workforce, education institutions, utilities, transportation, housing, etc to maximize productivity and long-term prosperity in our evolving economic landscape.

Industrial Update: How Tama County’s local elected officials embody what every elected official should know about economic development

Recently the National League of Cities in partnership with the International Economic Development Council published a list of 10 things every local elected official should know about economic development. Today we want to express our appreciation for local leaders who choose to be active, informed and visionary partners in economic development as was evident on a recent Tama County Industrial Familiarization tour with our newest regional marketing alliance partner, Cedar Valley Marketing Alliance:

  1. Know your local economic strengths and weaknesses:  A strengthening understanding of the community’s economic profile will help create a realistic vision and strategies for economic development. Leaders of Dysart Iowa embodied this quality as they shared stories about two companies that moved into the Dysart Industrial Park during the recession, as well as how industry is benefitting from the exponential growth in the creative economy that is drawing a lot of interest from outside the area. Local leadership for tour: Mayor Don Lyons, Dwayne Luze, Cathy Wieck
  2. Know your community’s place in the broader regional economy: With a firmer grasp of how a community fits into the broader region, one is better prepared to work with other jurisdictions to share responsibility for regional economic success. Meskwaki leadership, our newest government partner, demonstrated this quality as they shared their economic diversification strategy to build on the success that has been attained over the past two decades, and position itself for the next generation of opportunities to benefit the regional economy. Local leadership for tour: Larry Lasley, Christina Dee Blackcloud-Garcia, Patrick Browne
  3. Know the connections between economic development and other city policies. When crafting economic development policies, it is essential to consider how other city policies (e.g., transportation or housing) affect your economic development goals.
    Toledo leadership are recognizing the new industrial opportunities and local commercial responsibilities including re-zoning premium industrial and commercial sites in the New Market Tax Credit Zone in discussing the four lane highway that will connect directly to the capital within the next few months. Local leadership for tour: Mayor Pam Wood
  4. Know your local economic development stakeholders and partners. Local officials should think strategically on a project-by-project basis about who needs to be involved, the resources they bring to the table, and what it will take to get them engaged.
    Gladbrook leadership epitomized these qualities as the touring group got to see for themselves how city government, businesses, the school district, nonprofit leaders, volunteers and stakeholders outside the community come together to actualize remarkable projects and economic success for a community of under 1,000 persons.  Local leadership for tour: Mayor Keith Sash, JoAnn Ruopp, Lori Bearden
  5.  Know your community’s economic development message. You will want a clear, accurate and compelling message that reflects your local vision and that helps ensure broad support for economic development projects undertaken by the city and its partners. Traer leadership embodied this with the team of professional experts that represented the industrial assets. The Traer Industrial Park professional sign furthermore underscores a dedication to specifically connecting with prospecting manufacturing sector who can act as responsible corporate partners in maintaining the aesthetics of the area while gainfully employing the locally loyal dislocated non-union skilled manufacturing workforce. Local leadership for tour: Mayor Pete Holden, Pat Stief, Kent Holst

For the executive summary packet of the industrial buildings and sites featured on this tour with local leadership please click here or contact Tama County Economic Development.

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