A- A+

Chair's Column: 2020 Strategic Priorities

2020 Partnership Strategic Priorities

February 19, 2020

OneVoice Chair’s Column — Tom Mahoney, 2020 Chair

One Voice, One Mission, One Region in 2020

I am honored to serve as your Board Chair in 2020. I commend Kathryn Kunert for the work she did as our 2019 Chair to maximize momentum in our region. As we prepare for an innovative year with one voice and one mission as one region, I want to let you know about our Strategic Priorities for 2020. As you would expect, a lot of thought goes into these priorities. We are intentional about the goals that we set to make sure they have the biggest impact on Greater Des Moines (DSM). You will notice these priorities reflect our region’s ability to embrace change and commit to innovation.

2020 Priorities

Partner on the Advancement of the DSM International Airport Project

Our airport needs a new terminal. The growth in recent years — more than 1 million annual passengers in a 9-year span — necessitates it. Our airport is our region’s front door. The young, diverse talent pool we are trying to attract expects to have a world-class airport, as do our businesses that need to be connected across the country and globe.

We have come a long way from the time when people would look to fly out of Kansas City or Omaha rather than DSM. It’s time to invest and upgrade this important asset.

Enhance the Vibrancy of Downtown DSM Through Activation of the Downtown Riverfront + Rivers

The Central Iowa Water Trails project will make a splash in Downtown DSM, but this is about our entire region and state. With 86 projects covering 150 miles of water trails in DSM, this will connect people, connect communities with each other and connect DSM to the entire state.

The level of collaboration is extraordinary, as the Central Iowa Water Trails Incubator is made up of Capital Crossroads, Catch Des Moines, the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Greater Des Moines Partnership and the Great Outdoors Foundation. We need a long list of diverse voices at the table for this transformational project.

Demonstrate Progress Toward the Future Ready DSM 75x25 Goal by Increasing the Number of Working-Age Adults Who Have Completed a Post-Secondary Education Experience Aligned to Industry Demand

It has long been a goal of our region, in alignment with the State’s Future Ready Iowa initiative, to ensure 75 percent of working-age adults have postsecondary degrees that align with workforce needs by 2025. This year, we will develop a strategic plan around the future world of work and implement a new talent recruitment platform called TALLO, which has more than 700,000 users nationwide.

Educational attainment leads to people having better jobs and better lives, and results in a better workforce. This addresses a top issue we hear from you, our business community.

Build Upon Momentum Downtown Through the Creation of a Long-Term Downtown Vision Plan

Downtown DSM is everyone’s Downtown. A strong Downtown is interdependent with a strong overall community spanning across city lines, and Downtown DSM is a hub of activity. In 2020, we will work with regional partners to identify what the future of Downtown should look like and what it will take for us to continue building for the future.

Increase Support for Minority-Owned Businesses in DSM

Small business growth is part of the lifeblood of our community’s future. This year, we will create and implement an assistance plan to support minority-owned businesses in DSM. This plan will be designed to improve and expand their access to capital, high quality and specialized business service consultation, networks, and industry-specific supports.

In 2020, I encourage you to be risk-takers. We are riding a wave of momentum in DSM, and you have to jump on. Raise your hand. We need you!

Learn how to take action on The Partnership’s 2020 Strategic Priorities at DSMpartnership.com/calltoaction.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization for more than 6,400 Regional Business Members and 340+ Investors. The Partnership is a champion of the DSM USA message of Greater Des Moines (DSM) as a welcoming, diverse and vibrant community. Learn more about The Partnership’s vision of one voice, one mission as one region.

Tom Mahoney

Tom Mahoney served as the Greater Des Moines Partnership's 2020 board chair and is chairman of the board at ITA Group Holdings.