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Palo Alto County Develops Economic Development Strategic Plan

By Staff | Nov 23, 2010

The Northwest Iowa Planning and Development Commission, Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation and the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors were awarded the Community Trade Adjustment Assistance Strategic Planning grant from the Federal Dept. of Commerce – Economic Development Administration. This grant is aimed at helping create and retain jobs by providing a grant to communities/counties that have experienced or threatened by, job loss resulting from international trade.

The Trade Adjustment Assistance Taskforce which is made up of a variety of representation from across Palo Alto County, Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa Lakes Community College, Iowa Lakes Community College Small Business Development Center, along with the sponsors of this grant. These sponsors have hired Angelou Economics an Austin, Texas-based consulting firm that will lead to a seven-month strategic planning process, that will result in an Economic Development Strategic Plan for the county.

Funded in part by a Community Trade Adjustment Assistance Grant, the goal of this project is to develop a clear road map for future business investment activities, garner broad-based support, and bring together key leaders to develop bold, innovative partnerships that will enable Palo Alto County to increase prosperity across the county. The project consists of four phases: public input, analyzing the county’s economy, identifying specific business sectors to target, and developing recommendations and strategies to guide economic development activities.

“Economic development is vital to the future of Palo Alto County,” said Jerry Hofstad, Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors. “We are excited to have an organization on our team that has the knowledge and experience that Angelou Economics brings to the table. With their support, this process will ultimately provide the guidance we need to strengthen our competitive position and enhance our economic success.”

The strategic planning process will begin with a public input phase that includes online surveys, interviews, focus groups and a kick off meeting. More information on the project will be posted on a project website which will be launched in December. All Palo Alto County residents and businesses are encouraged to visit the site and take part in the surveys that will help define the county’s primary assets and challenges. Survey findings will be released later this winter. Kossuth/ Palo Alto EDC and North West Iowa Planning and Development Commission will assist in driving the coordination the grant process and assist in overseeing that the scope-of-work that is being accomplished under the guidelines of the grant. Any further information contact either Ted. Kourousis from NWIPDC OR Maureen Elbert with Kossuth/Palo Alto EDC.