With our recent conversation about reinvesting in our communities, it is a good time to revisit a Des Moines Register article. It illustrated the changing times we are seeing in the Iowa economy. The article "How Iowa's Midsize Cities Have Been Left Behind" tell the story the changes these communities and it's citizens are seeing as a result of a changing economic climate. As with the accompanying video, it features the community of Clinton, Iowa.
It's an interesting article that draws much of its narrative from a Iowa State University Extension and Outreach report "Rural Iowa at a Glance". While the feature community of Clinton is much bigger then our Cedar County communities, we are experiencing the same pressures as the ISU report shows. It delivers a clear message that the challenge of "recruiting" external economic development into our communities is harder then it has ever been while reinforcing an economic development model of focusing on local assets and leveraging self-investment to better our communities.
How do we do that? It first start with getting involved with your community with an attitude of collaboration and desire to do some good. Starting with that commitment then it is time for you and your fellow community members take a real assessment of what make your community special and build up on those strengths while facing the weakness head on. It does not happen quick or easily but this type of investments has proven to work in the long run. If you would like more information on this process contact us.