County joins in support of federal grant application

by Marianne Gasaway

Cerro Gordo County has joined the City of Clear Lake and others in making a financial commitment to a matching grant application which would support creation of a North Iowa Innovation Center.

After pledging $60,000 for the project on Monday night, April 19, the Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors approved $90,000.  Earlier this month the City Council in Mason City approved a $150,000 allocation, while the NIACC Board of Directors has approved $150,000 plus an in-kind salary match for the Pappajohn Center staff of $296,000.

North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Chad Schreck explained  the center would help address north-central Iowa’s technology sector and where the economy is going.  It would be located on the North Iowa Area Community College campus.  

Pappajohn Center director Tim Putnam is spearheading the grant application effort, which is being made through the US Economic Development Administration’s “Build to Scale Venture Challenge Grant Program.”  The application is being written seeking $750,000.

Schreck and Putnam told governmental entities the grant process is highly competitive.  Putnam became aware of the opportunity while viewing a presentation highlighting the success of applying with the support of communities within a region.

Schreck noted the pandemic brought about the opportunity for many to work from home and

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