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Chair's Column: Take Action on Partnership Strategic Priorities in 2019

2019 Strategic Priorities

February 11, 2019

I am honored to begin my term as the 2019 Board Chair of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. I first want to thank Dan Houston, 2018 Partnership Board Chair, as well as all our Investors and Members, for your contributions this past year and your dedication to continue to advance growth in Greater Des Moines (DSM).

As we move forward into this year, we will focus on maximizing our momentum with the following 2019 Strategic Priorities:

Demonstrate progress toward the EDGE 75X25 goal by increasing the number of working-age adults who have completed a post-secondary education experience aligned to industry demand.

The Partnership’s Education Drives our Greater Economy (EDGE) initiative aims to ensure that 75 percent of Greater Des Moines working age adults have degrees, certificates and other credentials by 2025 that align with workforce needs. To advance toward this goal, we will develop a regional strategy to establish DSM as an education center of excellence for careers aligned with our target industries. We also plan to work with regional partners to create a regional career expo for middle and high school students focusing on jobs of the future. Additionally, we will continue to build on the Code DSM academy. 

Partner in the creation of a transload facility in DSM USA.

A transload facility is a facility that enables the transfer of bulk commodities between trucks and trains. This project took a significant step forward in 2018 as the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded it an $11.2 million BUILD Transportation Grant. This year, working with the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the City of Des Moines, our priority is to finalize the lease and development agreement with a transload operator, and begin construction of the rail infrastructure for the transload facility. 

Enhance the vibrancy of Downtown DSM through activation of the Downtown riverfront and river.

The Lauridsen Skatepark is scheduled to open later this year and we are helping to launch a water trails incubator organization to move the regional water trails project forward. The regional project includes efforts to develop an adventure park on the Downtown riverfront. 

Partner on the advancement of the Des Moines International Airport project.

With the continued growth of Iowa’s economy, the airport has seen a passenger increase higher than initially projected. To help handle this growth, airport officials are working on plans to construct a new terminal. The Partnership will do whatever it can to help. 

Further our commitment to DSM USA’s small business and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Partnership has launched a Small Business Resources Hub to expand and better define small business and startup resources on its website, giving small businesses and startups a one-stop-shop. One such resource, the Mentor Connection program, will help connect small business and startup owners to experienced mentors.

This is an ambitious list of goals, and to complete them we will need the involvement of our Investors and Members. You can help!

Learn how to help us drive forward our 2019 Strategic Priorities by visiting: DSMpartnersihp.com/calltoaction.

Together, we will continue to fulfill The Partnership’s mission to unite the DSM community to drive economic growth with one voice, one mission, as one region.

Kathryn Kunert

Kathryn Kunert is vice president, economic connections and integration at MidAmerican Energy Company, leading a team dedicated to serving communities and businesses across Iowa with project management, expansion and retention, strategic planning, site selection and more.