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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

In the Trenches

An out-of-towner drove his car into a ditch in a desolated area. Luckily, a local farmer came to help with his big strong horse named Buddy. He hitched Buddy up to the car and yelled, “Pull, Nellie, pull!” Buddy didn’t move. Then the farmer hollered, “Pull, Buster, pull!” Buddy didn’t respond. Once more the farmer commanded, “Pull, Big Jim, pull!” Nothing. Then the farmer nonchalantly said, “Pull, Buddy, pull!” And the horse easily dragged the car out of the ditch.

The motorist was most appreciative and very curious. He asked the farmer why he called his horse by the wrong name three times. The farmer said, “Oh, Buddy is blind and if he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn’t even try!”

The lesson gleaned from Buddy is an interesting one – when we think we are all alone, we often think the job at hand will be too hard to do. When we have someone with us “in the trenches” it is much easier to complete the job at hand.

One person individually does not succeed alone in economic development either. To make things work, it takes working together with ALL the communities of Tama County. We have been patient and some of the changes we have worked for are now upon us. I know it did not happen overnight and I wish things could have come together sooner, however, if we all continue to work together diligently, we will continue to make things happen.

What is the next thing that we need to roll up our sleeves and get done? Tama County needs to find an efficient way to match the skilled workers with work we have in the county. We need a system that helps match people’s skills to the jobs best suited for these skills.

Fortunately we have a plan to do just that. It is called the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). Ok, in plain-English – it is a test that measures “real world” skills that employers believe are critical to job success. The test questions are based on situations in the everyday work world.

Tama County only needs 7 current employed and 10 unemployed individuals to take the NCRC to get all metrics to become a Skilled Iowa Community. Becoming a Skilled Iowa Community is a very significant distinction for our Tama County workforce. It says to the world we have the highest qualified people here in Tama County ready to work.

It will be a very valuable tool for our Economic Development office to attract new businesses to the area. It is nationally accredited PROOF that we have a talented workforce that can fill current and future jobs that these prospective companies have.

I need people from around the county to join me “in the trenches” to complete our Skilled Iowa designation. We are so close, only needing 7 current employed and 10 unemployed individuals to take the NCRC test. Contact our office (641) 484-3108 or info@tamacountyiowa.org and we can provide more information on how WE can get this done.


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