Public input, market data, site visits result in five-year plan for prosperity

With support from 12 partner organizations and more than 1,000 regional stakeholders, the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Vision North Iowa partnership announced the launch of a five-year regional prosperity strategy for Cerro Gordo County on Tuesday, April 10.

The North Iowa Corridor EDC, Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce,  Mason City Chamber of Commerce, and several community partners collaborated on the effort and held a press conference Tuesday to outline their plan.  Also participating in the endeavor was Cerro Gordo County, the City of Clear Lake, the City of Mason City, Clear Lake Tourism, Iowa Works, the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, North Iowa Area Community College, United Way, and Visit Mason City.

TIP Strategies, an Austin, Texas based consulting firm, was engaged to guide the project.

According to Chad Schreck, president and CEO of the North Iowa Corridor EDC, “Our goal was to work together toward a strategic vision of our economic future by engaging a multitude of stakeholders and the public so we are aligned around a common set of guiding principles, values, and goals. This process helped accomplish that and more. The first thing we are working on is developing a strong regional coalition that advances the most important community and economic development activities of Greater Cerro Gordo County and the communities and organizations within because we believe the answer to our shared success lies in working together.

The process began in January 2017 and concluded in just under a year.

The partnership and consulting team developed the strategic plan, which incorporated an extensive public input process; a detailed analysis of market data; several community site visits; a community perception survey that yielded more than 700 responses; four public input workshops; key findings from prior studies, plans, and other material; and the consulting team’s 20 years of experience working with communities across the country.

The plan focuses on the most promising opportunities for the region, which include talent attraction and retention, innovation and entrepreneurship, and internal and external marketing.   It is

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