In December, the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and Iowa City Area Business Partnership announced our 2022 public policy priorities for the ICR region. After months of input from our members, stakeholders and partners, it is evident now more than ever, we need to grow, retain and attract a skilled workforce.
We must remove the barriers to work, and grow our population by developing solutions in immigration, child care, housing, community placemaking and talent development, while planning for a future with innovative solutions and creating an environment for businesses to thrive.
We support state and federal policies that:
- Welcome Workers from All Populations, with particular emphasis on expanding Visa capacity and policies that support pathways to citizenship.
- Enhance Community Attraction Efforts including permanent funding for community placemaking projects and increases to available housing.
- Regain Iowa’s Status as Educational Leader including investing in Future Ready Iowa initiatives and support for all of Iowa’s educational institutions.
- Close the Opportunity Gap by ending barriers to employment through increasing quality child care access.
- Embrace Solutions Utilizing Technology through innovation in the workforce and emphasizing our natural resources.
- Promote and Incentivize Business Growth with smart tax policies and protecting and expanding economic development programs with a proven return on invest.
Iowa’s success is rooted in a strong urban and rural connection. Our reliance on each other provides mutually beneficial growth, and we need policies that equally value the unique strengths and needs of both.
Finally, policy makers must find common ground solutions to the challenges our state and nation face. We expect our elected officials to argue their perspective passionately, civilly and respectfully. We also expect solutions that address the challenges our communities face as a part of that debate. It is time to again focus on the common ground issues that will grow Iowa, help us prepare for a more promising future, and bring trust back to America’s political system.
View the complete 2022 priorities at www.cedarrapids.org/public-policy.