It takes a village

25 Sep 2020

Blog, Community, Economic Development

We’ve all heard it said, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and I’m sure most of you who are parents would agree.

Replace the second half with “…to build a community,” and you have a different statement that holds true and economic developers agree with!

Looking back at my high school years I remember driving through the small town downtowns where I grew up in rural Southwest Iowa, dreaming of a job where I could help play even a small part in revitalizing the communities. Yet, I didn’t plan to go into economic development when I started at Buena Vista University, or even until the last two months before I graduated. Because of that, I didn’t focus on learning anything about economic development until I started in this position just over two years ago, but the last two years have had such a learning curve.

I’ve learned about terms I’d never heard (like Revolving Loan Funds), learned that economic development includes so much more than just recruiting businesses, and discovered a passion for Northwest Iowa and these communities that the Corridor works for.

But the most important aspect of economic development that I’ve learned is the village that it truly takes to be successful in economic and community development. Before working at the Corridor, I never realized how many entities it took to facilitate even one economic development project. The Corridor communications with city and county officials, business leaders, chamber staff, real estate professionals, and so many others on a daily basis. A day rarely goes by that we aren’t calling on at least one partner in our communities to collaborate on economic and community development.

Each partner is an integral part of the village that makes up our region. Without this village that each community member is a part of, economic and community development would be so much slower, if it even happened at all.