Guest Contributor Kiley Miller, Executive Vice President of the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance

In our ongoing effort of promoting job growth and economic development in Southeast Iowa, Restoring Iowa Jobs wants to give guest contributors a platform to talk about their organization or business on our blog.

This week’s guest contributor is Kiley Miller, Executive Vice President of the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance!

Kiley Miller, 2008[1]

The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance is dedicated to improving the lives of the people of Mount Pleasant and Henry County, Iowa through economic growth. In pursuit of that mission, the Alliance maintains powerful and agile business attraction, business retention and expansion, entrepreneurial support and advocacy programs.

Mount Pleasant and Henry County stand at the crossroads of two four-lane highways, U.S. 34 and U.S. 218/27, better known as the Avenue of the Saints. Thanks to these highways, our county is within one day’s haul of every major market in the Upper Midwest, from Minneapolis/Saint Paul in the north to Saint Louis in the south, Chicago and Indianapolis to the east and Omaha and Kansas City in the west. A local shortline railroad, matched with river and commercial air options in the region, bolster the transportation mix.

Mount Pleasant and Henry County also boast a deep and talented workforce and extremely low business costs. Thanks to these assets and the aforementioned transportation infrastructure, the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance has succeeded in large employers such as Wal-Mart Distribution,  MackayMitchell Envelope Co.,  and, more recently, West Liberty Foods, a major supplier to Subway Corp.

Businesses already operating in southeast Iowa benefit from  Chamber Alliance support programs. The Alliance recently received a Business Retention & Expansion Award from the Professional Developers of Iowa for assisting plastics molder Nypro Kanaak Iowa in securing public assistance for a new rail spur. The award joins the inaugural Silver Shovel prize from the Iowa Area Development Group which we received in 2010 for excellence in economic development.

It is well documented that start-ups and young businesses are the key drivers of economic growth. Understanding this, the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance offers consulting and financial programs for entrepreneurs. Thanks to a variety of low-interest loan funds and business competition, we have helped many small business owners gain both the money and the knowledge they need to  turn dream into reality.

Finally, the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance believes local, state and federal government can and should be a partner to business, rather than an adversary. We engage daily with city and county leaders and coordinate annual trips to Des Moines and Washington DC to share the needs and concerns of the local business community.

With the global economy operating faster than ever in the 21st century, collaboration is essential to success. The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance is proud to be a partner with every company—large and small—in the community, county, region and state.  Visit our web site,www.growmountpleasantiowa.com, or call 319.385.3101 to speak to a member of our team.

Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds joins leaders from Nypro Packaging Iowa and the Mount Pleasant Area Development Commission to break ground for a rail spur in Mount Pleasant.

Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds joins leaders from Nypro Packaging Iowa and the Mount Pleasant Area Development Commission to break ground for a rail spur in Mount Pleasant.

Partnership Launches New Economic Development Plan

In our ongoing effort of promoting job growth and economic development in Southeast Iowa, Restoring Iowa Jobs wants to give guest contributors a platform to talk about their organization or business on our blog.

Our guest contribution this week is from the Greater Burlington Partnership!

 

GBP Logo
Partnership Launches New Economic Development Plan

 Successful economic development efforts begin with a solid plan.  The Greater Burlington Partnership, the Chamber of Commerce and economic development group serving Burlington, West Burlington, and the surrounding area, has just launched its five-year strategic plan for economic and community growth. The plan, officially titled Partnering for the Future II, is a continuation of the successful results achieved over the last five years.

 “Five year investment campaigns are fairly typical in the economic development business,” said Jason Hutcheson, President/CEO of the Partnership. “In 2008, our investors raised the bar with expectations and resources. It is clear the organization delivered, and the bar has been raised yet again.”

 Since the beginning of 2009, the organization has been a part of 24 projects creating 800 new jobs, retaining 543 positions, and realizing more than $107 million in private capital investment. Fortunately, the community has received several accolades for its recent accomplishments. Site Selection Magazine recently ranked Greater Burlington as a Top 30 Micropolitan for economic activity in 2012. In addition, the area boasts the third-fastest growing tourism industry in Iowa.

 It is the perfect time to build on the past success.  The new economic and community development plan for the next five years involves several key areas of focus:

 

                  -Economic Development

                  -Industrial Site Development

                  -Workforce Attraction and Preparedness

                  -Community Enhancement

                  -Downtown Redevelopment

                  -Visitor Attraction

 The plan outlines more than 30 goals and strategies for growing the economic base of the community.  Several of the goals include:

                  -Realizing 750 new private sector jobs

                  -Securing $125 million in private capital investment

                  -Increasing the county population by 5% by 2020

                  -Inspiring a new generation of business and community leaders

                  -Aggressive property redevelopment efforts

                  -Extending and enhancing the tourism season

                  -Improving the skill sets of the local workforce

 The cost of implementing the plan is estimated at $1.75 million, and a leadership team has been assembled to raise the necessary resources.  The members of the team include the following:

 Matt Shinn, Two Rivers Bank (Campaign Co-Chair)

Steve Delaney, The Hawk Eye (Campaign Co-Chair)

CL Walsh, Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust

KC Fleming, Great River Health Systems

Mike Shinn, MidWestOne Bank

Jim Leiting, Big River Resources

Tyler Cook, Snyder’s-Lance

Gary Schmeiser, Sterzing Food Company

Jerry Courtney, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

Mark Richardson, Great River Health Systems (Honorary Chair)

CE Walsh, Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust (Honorary Chair)

Jerry Krause, MidWestOne Bank (Honorary Chair)

 More than 90% of the funds secured to date are from the private. It is expected that nearly 100 companies will participate in the campaign which is a tremendous display of support for economic vitality.

 Be sure to check out their brochure here!

Brochure (2)

 For more information about the Greater Burlington Partnership, check out www.GreaterBurlington.com.