LETTER TO THE EDITOR: RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DRIVES IOWA’S GROWTH
Monday, November 27, 2017
Economic development is critical for Iowa’s success. It takes on an even greater importance when dealing with the state’s rural economy. To secure the continued growth and success of our state, we must focus on rural development programs that create sustainable jobs and livable communities across Iowa. In order to maintain a vibrant and growing economy, we must direct funding to all areas of Iowa. This is why programs such as the federal Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant (REDLG) program and the Revolving Loan Funds from our rural electric cooperatives are so important.
Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO), the state’s leading generation and transmission cooperative, is committed to expanding and growing the communities served. As a board director, I’m honored to be a part of an organization that is committed to ensuring the growth and vitality of Iowa’s rural economy for the betterment of everyone. CIPCO has funded 50 projects that created over 725 jobs in rural Iowa. The projects brought a total investment into the communities of more than $115 million. Without the support of rural economic development programs, most of this growth would not have occurred. Incentivizing rural growth empowers individuals to bring new ideas and options to the table for the benefit of rural Iowa. In the service territory of my cooperative, Eastern Iowa Light & Power Cooperative, programs recently helped create the $22 million investment by a hatchery company, which added 42 new jobs to the economy in a rural community.