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Thursday, April 28, 2016
Lee County EDG Receives State Award
Business Retention and Expansion Efforts Recognized
Lee County, IA, April 28, 2016– The Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) honored economic development organizations during the SMART Economic Development Conference held in Des Moines on April 28. Lee County EDG received the award for Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) Overall Program for 2016. The award recognizes the outstanding efforts of local and regional economic development initiatives in supporting growth and expansion of existing Iowa companies.
“Supporting Iowa’s existing industry is a key priority for PDI’s membership,” stated Wayne Pantini, PDI President. “The BRE Awards are intended to increase the focus on fostering Iowa business growth by economic development organizations and spotlight BRE programs and projects that have made a significant impact on Iowa communities.”
Lee County EDG’s BRE program was created as a result of 60 business, industry, and stakeholder interviews as well as 20 Synchronist interviews of Lee County’s top employers. These companies represented over 4,000 workers, or 94%, of manufacturing employees in Lee County. Data from these interviews determined workforce to be the No. 1 BRE issue facing Lee County industries.
“Lee County EDG’s developed a bold new set of initiatives called Grow Lee, coupled with a can do attitude, replacing individual workforce programs and efforts” shared Dennis Fraise, Chief Operating Officer of Lee County EDG.
Grow Lee is a collaborative effort, spearheaded and facilitated by Lee County EDG featuring 10 specific workforce initiatives. The goal of the program is to ensure an adequate workforce that is trained and motivated to meet the current and future needs of Lee County employers.
“The success of Grow Lee, and our programs, is a direct result of the collaborative effort of all of Lee County EDG’s partnerships and stakeholder participation” commented Dana Millard Marketing & Communications Manager of Lee County EDG. “This award is a tribute to not only our work but those who have assisted with this process. Everyone has a voice in our workforce initiatives and Grow Lee.”
In early 2016, a second round of Synchronist interviews is being conducted with the same top 20 Lee County companies. Data collected from the new set of interviews will be shared with the group and used to develop the next set of initiatives. What started as 10 specific workforce initiatives has now morphed into a broader concept – Grow Lee 2.0.