More than 100 people were on hand Thursday noon for the 2012 Partner Meeting for Northwest Iowa Development, a partnership of economic development agencies in Lyon, Osceola, O’Brien, Sioux, Plymouth and Cherokee Counties.
Their job, in a nutshell, is to sell northwest Iowa to prospective businesses and industries looking for a place to locate, as well as assisting current business and manufacturing concerns in their continued success and expansion.
The featured speaker at Thursday’s luncheon meeting was Debi Durham, the Director of the new Iowa Economic Development Authority, an organization born by the desire of Governor Branstad to recreate the Department of Economic Development from a strictly state agency into a public/private partnership to increase it’s effectiveness. Durham told the group that the Economic Progress Partnership is made up of the Development Authority which is the public component, and the Iowa Innovation Corporation made up of innovators in the private sector.
Durham briefly outlined a list of priorities and goals in the area of economic development that had been put forth by Governor Branstad. Among those goals is a 25% increase in family income for Iowans. A goal, she said, that will be dependant on not just additional jobs in Iowa, but quality, high-paying jobs. She also talked briefly about what the state is doing to further the cause of economic development in Iowa, including international trade.
The Northwest Iowa Development Partner Meeting was held at the Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center on the campus of Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon.
For more information on Northwest Iowa Development, you can visit their website at www.northwestiowa.org.