Dear Iowa Economic Development Partners:
As you know, Governor Branstad has set a bold agenda for those of us in the economic development community to achieve – creating 200,000 new jobs. The Governor himself has been working tirelessly to achieve this goal, and I know that you are too.
Together, we’ve made great strides already – last year, with your help, we were able to overhaul our delivery system for economic development by creating a public-private partnership. We are currently working with the legislature this year to put in place a $25 million incentive package to make sure Iowa can continue to compete in a global market. But, our work is far from done.
One very important element to achieving our jobs agenda is making sure we are taking care of the businesses that are already invested in Iowa – and will be the key to our future economic success. We have identified existing Iowa companies employing more than 100 people that are classified as “traded clusters” – those companies that have the potential for the highest growth and highest value. The Governor and I have committed to touching each of these companies this year, both to say thank you for their investment in our state and to ensure we are providing a positive business environment for these companies to grow.
To make sure we are having strategic conversations with these businesses, we need to have as much information as possible to understand in the aggregate impediments to growth, opportunities for development, and overall trends that will help us plan for the future. The Governor and I are again looking for your help – we are asking you to complete your Synchronist industry calls of the traded cluster companies in your area by May 15.
In conjunction with the BEST management team and your utility partners, call targets have been identified by service territory. You will receive your prioritized list from your utility partner, or you can feel free to reach out to them directly to get started today. Completing the interviews and entering the information in Synchronist by May 15 is essential to moving this strategy forward. Please know we will, of course, keep specific company information confidential.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact me directly at 515-725-3022, or feel free to contact Kathy Anderson at 515-725-3149.
Thank you for your continued support and dedication to growing Iowa’s economy.
Deborah V. Durham Director