The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation earlier this month unveiled the organization’s annual report for FY 2018, which concluded June 30. Corridor activities are evaluated based on a three-part economic development strategy laid out by member-investors. The Corridor is tasked with providing best-in-class business recruitment and retention programming, fostering a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, and leading a broad effort to improve the regional labor supply through recruitment, training, housing development and community enhancement.
“We are very proud of our success in executing on the priorities of our strategic plan,” said Kiley Miller, President and CEO. “The Lakes of Northwest Iowa is enjoying strong growth right now and the Corridor team has been instrumental in many aspects of that resurgence.”
Business recruitment and retention
Through 55 projects and 12 deals closed, Corridor efforts helped generate more than 700,000 SF of industrial and warehouse space sold, leased or constructed, more than 300 jobs created and more than $550 million in capital investment.
36 clients, 15 of them new, turned to the Corridor for start-up coaching, resulting in nine new businesses and 51 jobs created. Capital raised for entrepreneurial ventures during the year totaled $1,800,000. New Corridor offices at Studio 12 in Estherville and Buena Vista University in Storm Lake raised awareness of entrepreneurship programming and other economic development services in the region. Three high school students completed entrepreneurship career experiences while 32 students once again met in Okoboji for a week to learn about entrepreneurship and Northwest Iowa.
Workforce, housing and community enhancement
GetALakesLife.com debuted, bringing a tech-savvy approach to worker and family attraction. The Northwest Iowa Opportunities Hub shared local job and housing opportunities with thousands of visitors to the Clay County Fair. More than 60 new market-rate apartments were completed, and single-family construction projects stretched across the region. Finally, the Corridor helped advance Imagine Iowa Great Lakes and Glacial Lakes and Prairie Escapes, both of which encourage collaborative planning, promotion and beautification of regional quality-of-life assets.
Corridor staff and board members credit dozens of partnering organizations for the achievements of the past year. “When companies choose to grow in Northwest Iowa, they do so in part because of the professional service and sense of community provided by local government, utilities, educational institutions, and businesses,” Miller said.
“Above all, we thank our member-investors,” Miller continued. “For more than 25 years, their pride of place and spirit of innovation have impelled the Corridor to create and execute front-of-the-pack economic development services.”
To view the Corridor’s FY 2018 Annual Report, visit www.lakescorridor.com and click on the Partner With Us tab. Organizations wishing to learn more about supporting the Corridor and regional economic development are encouraged to contact Kiley Miller at 712-264-3474 or by email.
About the Corridor
The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is the regional economic development agency for Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson and Emmet counties. Its mission is to foster, encourage, aid, promote or otherwise assist in the economic growth and development of the region. For more information about the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, call 712-264-3474 or visit www.lakescorridor.com.
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