Homegrown Talent Initiative: Bringing Back Top Talent to the Corridor

Homegrown Talent Initiative: Bringing Back Top Talent to the Corridor Main Photo

12 Jun 2024


In Northwest Iowa, attracting and retaining top talent is essential for driving economic growth and community prosperity. Continued growth in the region relies on its ability to attract the brightest minds and most skilled individuals, especially former residents with a solid foundation and roots here. Among the various initiatives to achieve this goal, the new Homegrown Talent Initiative is a new program for the Corridor focused on encouraging recent college graduates who grew up within the region to consider moving back and filling the high-quality jobs available at local businesses.

Starting in Spring 2025, the Iowa Lakes Corridor will offer multiple grants to college graduates who graduated from a high school in Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson, or Emmet Counties who secure a job in the region to live and work. Each grant, totaling $6,000, will be distributed as $1,500 annually over four years to assist with student loan repayment.

This new Homegrown Talent Initiative is a shining example of the power of investing in local talent. By providing financial assistance to those returning home, the program encourages individuals to return and instills a sense of loyalty and commitment to the region. It's more than just a scholarship; it's a testament to the community's and its people's potential.

Building a Brighter Future: Collaborative Efforts for Talent Retention in the Corridor

While financial incentives are a vital piece of the puzzle for talent retention, companies in the Corridor have recognized the increased need to support talent retention. This endeavor requires a comprehensive approach that includes education, workforce development, and community engagement. Many companies support students' trade education, offering scholarships in exchange for a commitment to stay in the region. This mutually beneficial relationship benefits the individuals and contributes to the overall growth and sustainability of the local economy.

Investing in training and education programs is essential for economic development. By collaborating with schools, colleges, and training providers, the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation can align educational offerings with local industry needs, ensuring students gain the skills necessary for workforce success and economic contribution. Supporting programs that expose students to regional career opportunities, provide mentorship and internships, and encourage education in high-demand fields helps develop a robust talent pipeline. This active involvement in local education fosters community ties and highlights the abundant opportunities available locally.

By working closely with educational institutions, businesses can help shape the curriculum to meet the local economy's needs, ensuring that students are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. This proactive approach results from the collaborative efforts between businesses, educational institutions, and the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation. This unity of purpose benefits the students and strengthens the ties between the education sector and the business community, creating a more integrated and resilient ecosystem.

Invest in Our Community: How You Can Support the Homegrown Talent Initiative

The Homegrown Talent Initiative is a shining example of how communities can unite to support themselves. Northwest Iowa lays the foundation for a brighter future by investing in talent and creating growth opportunities. As more and more individuals choose to return home, the region will continue to grow and thrive, proving that talent is the driving force behind economic development.

Join us for the inaugural Homegrown Talent Initiative Golf Tournament at the Spencer Municipal Golf Course, hosted by the Iowa Lakes Corridor on August 5, 2024. This fundraiser will support $6,000 grants for college graduates originally from Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson, and Emmet Counties who return to the area to work for local employers. The first grants will be awarded in Spring 2025. Stay tuned for more information and application details, and find out how you can support our homegrown talent!

There are many ways to support this program! Register a team for the golf tournament, sponsor a course hole or a meal, provide door prizes, and more. Contact the Corridor for more details!