Policy by Day, Community Brag by Night: 2019 Iowa Chamber Alliance Retreat
Aug 28, 2019
The following is a note from Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance Executive Director Doug Neumann.
The Economic Alliance had the privilege last month of hosting a three-day retreat of the Iowa Chamber Alliance, a non-partisan coalition representing 16 leading chambers of commerce and economic development organizations throughout Iowa. The Chamber Alliance’s mission is to put forth and enact an agenda to grow the state’s economy through support of proactive programs that stimulate economic growth opportunities for the entire state and its residents.
By day, this was serious work. We filled three days with intense discussions about the challenging issues of Iowa. In its simplest form, our work is about accelerating growth in one of the nation’s slowest growing states. The “how” becomes far more complex and leads to in-depth discussions about immigration, child care, workforce, infrastructure, tax and business climate, water quality, education, innovation and priorities that can unite rural and urban Iowa.
By night, we had some fun and showed off a slice of the quality of life we enjoy here. For some of my peers, it was their first visit to Cedar Rapids in quite a few years, and to them the improvements were remarkable. Everyone is rightfully proud of their own community and the economic development work they are doing. But there was unquestionably some envy for the pace of private development, the growth and development of The Eastern Iowa Airport, the strength and diversity of the regional economy, the rapid expansion of quality of life amenities such as bike trails, top-notch restaurants and the vibrancy of our urban core. I was proud to receive many heart-felt compliments on behalf of the community and all the progress and momentum so evident here.
During this retreat, I was voted in as the 2020 board chair for the Iowa Chamber Alliance, and through that position will spend a significant amount of time in the coming year working on these goals and priorities with my colleagues. Look for the completed Iowa Chamber Alliance public policy agenda before year-end, and all of us will be working cooperatively to enact that growth agenda as the Iowa Legislature gets underway early next year.
For more information about our public policy efforts, please visit www.cedarrapids.org/publicpolicy
- Doug Neumann, Executive Director, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance