Each May the Ames Economic Development Commission (AEDC) celebrates Economic Development Week, celebrating the power of partnerships and highlighting the importance of a coordinated economic development effort in communities.
A year ago we launched the hashtag #StoryGrows in conjunction with Economic Development Week. We came up with this simple catchphrase as a way to share the story of economic development in our communities not just during Economic Development Week, but throughout the entire year.
Over the past year Story County has experienced incredible success and major wins on the economic development front. From breaking ground on Burke Corporation’s expansion in Nevada, to cutting the ribbon for Barilla’s $65 million plant expansion, some truly incredible projects are taking place right here in central Iowa.
But it doesn’t stop with our large business and industry. As the lead economic development organization in Story County, the AEDC also works in unison with our communities to help increase access and opportunities for all citizens. For instance, Cambridge and Slater were recently awarded Catalyst Grants from the State of Iowa to revitalize their downtown areas and stimulate economic development.
We also continue to have a strong presence in supporting and providing timely assistance to emerging companies engaged in a wide variety of technologies. Several businesses with Ames and Story County ties were recognized by the Technology Association of Iowa for their leadership, growth, and innovation at the statewide Prometheus Awards event. Gross-Wen Technologies, Performance Livestock Analytics, Renewable Energy Group and Vermeer all brought home awards, as did the Ames Seed Capital organization, which is a powerful tool that supports emerging technologies.
These are just a few recent examples of the positive impact of a strong economic development effort. Because of economic development, our community is stronger and more vibrant than ever. The investments being made in our community continue to help ensure a well-maintained infrastructure, an abundance of jobs, quality healthcare, top-notch education, and amenities we have come to enjoy such as parks, trails, community art and more. We are truly fortunate to call Ames and Story County home.
As we build momentum in 2019, we will continue to use #StoryGrows to share how a wide range of industries and entities are working together to help move Ames and Story County forward. Our public institutions and municipalities continue to help ensure a vibrant community. The expansion of our business and industry provides more job opportunities and further investment in our community. Start-up companies continually raise the bar to provide new ideas into the marketplace. And our small businesses are a constant fixture in our community providing needed goods and services for our citizens.
From the smallest of start-ups to the largest multi-national corporations, the AEDC is involved with business in every level within Ames and Story County. What makes this is all work is the powerful public-private partnership between local governments and the Ames/Story County business community which underwrites the efforts of the AEDC. This is how #StoryGrows.