May 3, 2018 by Stacie Euken
Economic Development Organizations Receive Awards
for Business Retention and Expansion Efforts
Des Moines, IA – May 3, 2018: The Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) honored economic development organizations from Ames, Ottumwa, Iowa Lakes Corridor, and West Central Iowa during the SMART Economic Development Conference held in Des Moines on May 2.
Sponsored by Blane, Canada Ltd. and Smart Solutions Group, the PDI Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Awards Program recognizes the outstanding efforts of local and regional economic development initiatives in supporting growth and expansion of existing Iowa companies. Receiving an award for Overall BRE Program – Regional Organization lets congratulate the Midwest Partnership EDC.
The Midwest Partnership EDC is an economic development corporation serving Adair, Audubon, Greene, and Guthrie Counties in West Central Iowa. Midwest Partnership is the region’s connection to a variety of business resources, and provides information and assistance with business retention, expansion, new development, small business and entrepreneurship. Midwest Partnership utilized the Synchronist Business Information System for their Business Connections Program visits. In the Summer of 2017, their team visited with 37 businesses throughout Adair, Audubon, Greene, and Guthrie Counties. The businesses were chosen based on recommendation by their utility partners, Iowa Area Development Group, and their own knowledge of businesses in their region.
Synchronist, as a whole, has been an effective program to use over the years in their BR&E efforts. It has allowed Midwest Partnership to surface issues to bring to local development groups, city councils, and boards of supervisors for discussion. It has also allowed them to take a look at the big picture to determine their program goals and offerings, as well as connect the dots with what’s going on in their region. The Synchronist visits have also allowed them to have deep conversations with community leaders – schools, hospitals, manufacturers, and so on – about workforce issues. Because of the discussions, they have focused on finding ways to better connect area educators to employers and helping foster collaboration. This past winter they connected one of their schools to employers in the region, which allowed for teachers to spend an in-service day touring local businesses. This spring they worked with that same school to host a career fair, inviting many of the employers they meet with during the Synchronist visits. This summer they will host a Teaching for the Workforce Conference in their region with educators from across the state visiting leading employers in their region. The Midwest Partnership will also help host the Employer-Educator Summit this fall, as part of the Western Iowa Advantage group. All of these school initiatives have been developed through conversations during Synchronist visits. The Midwest Partnership believes that Synchronist is a valuable tool and will continue to utilize it in the years to come.
“Supporting Iowa’s existing industry is a key priority for PDI’s membership,” stated Carla Eysink, PDI President. “The BRE Awards are intended to increase the focus on fostering Iowa business growth by economic development organizations and spotlight BRE programs and projects that have made a significant impact on Iowa communities.”
Founded in 1973, with current membership of over 320, PDI is an organization dedicated to advancing the professionalism of its members through a wide range of programs and services. As an association, PDI provides professional training that helps its members do a better job for their community. PDI creates an atmosphere of support and offers an instant network of seasoned experts for local professionals to seek advice and support.
Contact: Lynn Harkin, Executive Director
Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI)
1255 SW Prairie Trail Parkway
Ankeny, IA 50023-7068
Phone 515-243-4585/ Cell 515-250-1489