Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation: A Year in Review 2023
19 Dec 2023
As we approach the end of the year, it’s a fitting time to reflect on the substantial progress of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation and its pivotal role in fostering economic growth within the four-county region. Throughout 2023, our primary focus was supporting the Corridor region’s development, enhancing the quality of life for residents, and building solid relationships with the community.
Here are some major highlights and key stories that helped shape this year.
This year, the Iowa Lakes Corridor welcomed new leaders to guide our mission to foster, encourage, promote, aid, or assist in the four-county region’s economic growth and development. The appointment of a new President and CEO and a Senior Vice President of Economic Development represents a strategic step toward achieving our goals.
October is manufacturing month, and we celebrated it enthusiastically, culminating in a proclamation signing by Corridor communities—the month-long event aimed to redefine modern manufacturing and highlight its vital role in our region.
Workforce Training Prioritization
One of the cornerstones of our efforts has been the prioritization of workforce training. Recognizing the importance of a skilled workforce in driving economic development, we have actively participated in promoting initiatives to enhance training opportunities including:
- Registered Apprenticeship Program
- Employer Innovation Fund
- Last-Dollar Scholarship
- Iowa Language Learners Job Training Program
Many resources and programs for workforce development and training are available in the Corridor region. The Corridor works closely with Iowa Workforce Development, CIRAS, Iowa Lakes Community College, Iowa Central Community College, local school systems, and employers to help meet workforce needs in the region.
Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute (OEI) Alumni Success Story
Recognizing the success of alumni from the OEI is crucial to demonstrate the positive impact these opportunities have. The story of Jake Kopriva, an OEI 2013 alumnus, showcases the long-lasting effects of our commitment to nurturing talent.
Global Entrepreneurship Week 2023
Embracing innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, the Iowa Lakes Corridor actively participated in Global Entrepreneurship Week in November, contributing to the global conversation surrounding innovation and business growth.
This year’s theme for the week is “Entrepreneurs Thrive Here,” and we at the Corridor know that to be true! Many local businesses are built from the ground up right here in the Corridor Region.
From large financial institutions to small local bake shops and manufacturers that ship worldwide to handmade apparel and keepsakes, our region boasts a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem with resources to support aspiring and growing entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Small Business Saturday
Underscoring the importance of local businesses, we urged our community to support them on Small Business Saturday. This initiative aimed to bolster the economic fabric that helps define our region by encouraging residents to shop locally.
Economic Development Week
Our engagement on social media platforms during Economic Development Week further strengthened our ties with the community. We showcased our commitment to driving sustainable economic growth by sharing stories, insights, and achievements.
What’s the Y? Series
Our “What’s the Y?” video series has been a powerful tool for highlighting the individuals who contribute significantly to the economic landscape of the Iowa Lakes Corridor. These videos showcase our community’s diverse talent and expertise, featuring stories of professionals like John Tatman, Kent Stensland, Steve Pick, Burlin Matthews, and Jed Skogerboe.
- John Tatman - Demco Products
- Kent Stensland - Bank Midwest
- Steve Pick - Spencer Municipal Utilities
- Burlin Matthews
- Jed Skogerboe - Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation Is Prepared For 2024
Reflecting on these accomplishments, we look forward to a promising future for the Iowa Lakes Corridor. Together, we will continue to build a thriving community, foster economic growth, and create opportunities for all. Thank you for being part of this journey.