Ames EDC

Economic Development is Business Retention and Expansion

Posted on May 4, 2020 at 12:30 PM by Brenda Dryer

Story County is home to a diverse range of industries including advanced manufacturing, biosciences and technology, precision farming, and more. To support these industries, the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission provides an array of services through its Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) program.

BR&E is an economic development strategy of proactively connecting with existing businesses to understand and respond to their current and future needs. Staying in touch and connecting with our existing business community is key to the retention of existing jobs and growth of new jobs. Studies show over time that up to 70% of all new job creation will come from existing business and industry growth if an aggressive BR&E program is implemented and supported. 

In the last three years our Business Development team conducted 114 official visits with Story County companies. These confidential visits are a great way to gain insight into the strengths and challenges of the business and as well as own community. The feedback received as part of these interviews is aggregated, tracked, and reported each year.

In 2019 the following information was identified: 

Top Story County Strengths:

  • College & University
  • Fire Protection
  • Economic Development Services

Top Story County Challenges

  • Workforce Availability
  • Workforce Stability
  • Internet Access

Key to any effective BR&E program is the ability to act on the feedback received as a result of these visits. Because workforce continues to be an area of concern for our business community, the Ames Economic Development Commission has implemented a robust Workforce Solutions program. The following are the key aspects of our workforce solutions programming designed to assist our business and industry in the retention and recruitment of workforce now and into the future:

  • County-wide job board:
  • Local, Regional, and Virtual Career Fairs
  • Home Base Iowa
  • Strategic partnerships with the DMACC, Technology Association of Iowa and the ISU Alumni Association
  • Summer Internship Program: See Yourself In Ames
  • PK-12 Engagement: Future Ready Story County

Our Story County labor force is 58,700 strong and growing. We stand ready to help business and industry flourish through workforce retention/recruitment, project support, and increasing the overall quality of life for all!

Categories: Growing Business

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