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Sharing the progress on the Vision North Iowa plan

During the 'State of North Iowa' presentation, officials share the latest developments in the 5-year comprehensive plan that aims to revitalize the region

Posted: Jan 24, 2020 1:34 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - The face of North Iowa has changed over the years, from shrinking population to job loss and a housing shortage.

To reverse the tide, the Vision North Iowa plan was launched in 2018. The goals: bolster entrepreneurship, ensure smart economic growth, attract and retain a strong, diverse talent pipeline, attract, expand and retain high-growth companies, and improve quality of place.

So far, the plan is picking up steam. During the 'State of North Iowa' presentation at the Mason City Arena on Thursday morning, officials with the Mason City Chamber of Commerce, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corp., and others shared the news of great strides being made to accomplish those goals in North Iowa.

Debi Durham is the director of the IEDA, and has been an active proponent of the work being done in North Iowa, such as the River City Renaissance project.

"Diversity around population growth, workforce, reinvestment, investing in our community, creating places where people want to live, housing. We talked about a number of things today."

Don O'Connor is a Cerro Gordo County native, and has seen people actively reinvest in the area. He supports the county, and the communities of Clear Lake and Mason City, and their efforts to reach a common goal.

"I think we're a lot stronger as one unit than as three individuals. That's really encouraging to hear today, that is real collaboration really taking place."

"It's really nice to see things happening positive again. The vibrant economics that are going on here."

Within the last few years, Cerro Gordo County has seen a 2.2% increase in job growth (2017-18), a 1.3% increase in employment year over a year, a 20% increase in GDP to $2.47 billion (between 2014-18), enrollment increases in the Clear Lake and Mason City High Schools, 83 new business starts and 357 new jobs created thanks to the NIACC Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, and over $319 million dollars in capital investment being plugged into projects, like the River City Renaissance and its spin-off projects.

North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corp. CEO & Director Chad Schreck is upbeat about the progress being made.

"Now, it's really been about the implementation. How do we create the culture we want, the amenities we want? The arena is one of those major components. Getting everyone working together was just critical to getting this thing over the hump and getting it done."

So to help keep the momentum going forward - 

"We want to ensure that we engage with the community, share this with them. It can't be lead by a few people behind the scenes. It needs to be community driven."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 56560

Reported Deaths: 1656
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18009819
Ramsey6944261
Dakota3991103
Anoka3365113
Stearns283120
Washington191743
Nobles17466
Olmsted162923
Scott139014
Mower10812
Rice9998
Blue Earth8525
Wright8135
Carver7792
Clay74540
Kandiyohi6761
Sherburne6497
St. Louis43619
Todd4202
Lyon4163
Freeborn3541
Steele3301
Nicollet31213
Benton3063
Watonwan2980
Winona24716
Crow Wing21313
Martin2045
Le Sueur2011
Beltrami1930
Chisago1791
Goodhue1768
Otter Tail1763
Cottonwood1710
Becker1431
Pipestone1439
Unassigned14040
McLeod1380
Itasca13212
Polk1313
Douglas1300
Waseca1280
Pine1270
Carlton1250
Dodge1230
Murray1221
Isanti1100
Chippewa981
Brown852
Faribault830
Meeker832
Morrison831
Wabasha810
Sibley792
Koochiching743
Rock740
Pennington721
Jackson700
Mille Lacs653
Fillmore610
Renville595
Cass582
Lincoln540
Swift521
Grant491
Yellow Medicine490
Roseau460
Pope430
Houston390
Norman340
Redwood300
Kanabec291
Hubbard280
Marshall280
Wilkin283
Aitkin270
Mahnomen231
Wadena230
Big Stone220
Red Lake200
Lake180
Clearwater150
Stevens150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson40
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 45774

Reported Deaths: 883
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk9723203
Woodbury365151
Black Hawk300362
Linn210887
Johnson193315
Dallas178935
Buena Vista178512
Scott159312
Dubuque153729
Marshall138924
Pottawattamie121723
Story110914
Wapello84932
Muscatine82648
Webster7255
Crawford7193
Sioux5952
Cerro Gordo57617
Tama53729
Warren5281
Jasper45524
Plymouth4438
Wright4431
Louisa37914
Dickinson3754
Clinton3173
Washington28710
Hamilton2411
Boone2282
Franklin2205
Bremer1877
Clarke1863
Carroll1811
Emmet1791
Clay1711
Hardin1650
Shelby1611
Marion1530
Allamakee1514
Poweshiek1468
Benton1431
Jackson1411
Des Moines1392
Mahaska13617
Floyd1292
Guthrie1265
Jones1242
Cedar1201
Hancock1172
Butler1142
Henry1133
Pocahontas1131
Buchanan1111
Lyon1020
Madison1022
Clayton983
Cherokee971
Harrison970
Lee953
Taylor930
Humboldt921
Delaware901
Monona900
Iowa891
Winneshiek851
Calhoun822
Mills820
Fayette810
Sac810
Palo Alto790
Kossuth780
Jefferson770
Osceola770
Mitchell760
Page760
Winnebago760
Grundy741
Union701
Monroe677
Worth610
Chickasaw510
Cass481
Davis481
Howard480
Lucas454
Montgomery433
Appanoose423
Greene380
Fremont350
Van Buren321
Keokuk301
Ida290
Audubon281
Decatur220
Adair210
Ringgold211
Adams160
Wayne161
Unassigned80
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