In March a group of students from Coe College, with interests in political science, economics, accounting, and business administration, among other fields, joined Economic Alliance workforce specialist, Ellie Evans, for a day of ‘real world’ exploration. Diving into the Economic Alliance’s core functions of public policy, economic development & workforce, business support and community development, the students heard from strategists and specialists in their respective areas about the importance of their work to the local economy. The Economic Alliance’s executive director, Doug Neumann, shed light on the many opportunities for young professionals in the Cedar Rapids metro area and more broadly, the ICR region. The group learned about how the Economic Alliance weaves together economic development project wins and public policy advocacy, with quality of life efforts and engagement with local resources, to fuel and further a strong and varied business economy. Director of careers with Coe College, Nancy Young, expressed that this was exactly the messaging they teach students every day, and hearing it from an executive director is a powerful experience for the students.
A strategic goal of connecting with students to keep them here after graduation is at the forefront of the Economic Alliance’s workforce efforts. Showcasing the depth and richness of opportunities, and connecting people with quality of life amenities the area offers is a key tactic to retaining the talented people that make up our workforce. Economic Alliance programs like ImpactCR, IgniteICR and Leadership for Five Seasons are great ways to get connected and plugged in to the community. Read more about ImpactCR and Leadership for Five Seasons at www.cedarrapids.org, and more about IgniteICR intern programming at www.icriowa.org.