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Chair's Column with Kathryn Kunert: September 2019 Issue

DSM USA Chair's Column September 2019

September 14, 2019

Game-Changing Priorities Continue to Advance

As we head into the final months of 2019, The Partnership’s Strategic Priorities for this year continue to move forward.

EDGE Pledge

Work continues on the Education Drives our Greater Economy (EDGE) goal of ensuring 75% of Greater Des Moines (DSM) working-age adults have degrees, certificates and other credentials by 2025 that align with workforce needs. There are many good examples of companies and organizations working to advance the goal, several of which you can read about at DSMpartnership.com/blog. Your business can take the EDGE pledge to publicly show its support and be listed on The Partnership’s website. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com/edge.

Downtown Riverfront Development

On Aug. 20, The Central Iowa Water Trails project celebrated the completion of the first of the 86 sites of improvement along the 150-mile project opened. The new carry-down access point on Beaver Creek in Johnston is now open to the public, thanks in large part to the leadership of the City of Johnston and Corteva Agriscience™. The water trails project includes improvements along the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers in Downtown DSM that will allow for outdoor recreation on the water and contribute to an adventure park along the Principal Riverwalk. This complements the Lauridsen Skatepark project, which is scheduled to open this fall in Downtown DSM as the largest skatepark in the country. Learn more about the water trails project and sign up for future updates and information on how to get involved at centraliowawatertrails.org.

Airport Terminal

Des Moines International Airport recently completed the $6.7 million FedEx facility, which is part of the vision to build a new terminal. This will open land on the south side of the terminal to relocate airport services and clear the way for the new terminal. The new terminal will help the airport keep up with rapid passenger traffic growth. 

Transload Facility

The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization has selected Des Moines Industrial to be the operator of the Des Moines transload facility. Environmental work has begun on the site. The transload facility will enable the transfer of bulk commodities between trucks and trains, bolstering our global trade efforts. 

Small Business Support

The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub launched in January is continuously updated with information to help small businesses grow. The Partnership’s Mentor Connection program, which is part of The Hub, has matched dozens of mentors with small business owners in need of a mentor. View The Hub at DSMpartnership.com/smallbusiness and learn about the Mentor Connection program at DSMpartnership.com/mentorconnection. 

The success of these strategic initiatives that drive our economic and community development is dependent on the support of all our Investors and Regional Members. We will finish 2019 strong working together to continue maximizing our momentum. 

The Partnership's Public Policy team engages with local, state and federal officials to create public policy that generates economic growth, business prosperity and talent development in Greater Des Moines (DSM). The Partnership is a nonpartisan organization.

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.