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We Will Move Forward Together to Address Regional Opportunities in 2022

2022 Strategic Priorities

January 27, 2022

I am honored to serve as the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s board chair in 2022. I commend Fred Buie on the work he did as our 2021 Chair to move the needle in a year in which the world was still dealing with the rapid changes caused by the pandemic. As we prepare for 2022, Partnership Investors have the opportunity to help our community move forward together on its biggest opportunities, including talent attraction and retention, making sure Greater Des Moines (DSM) is a welcoming community for all, ensuring an environment that is conducive to small business growth, planning the future of the region’s downtown, and more.

Our 2022 Strategic Priorities are as follows:

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

Our airport is the front door to our region, and must reflect a community that is growing, diverse and welcoming, and provides room for growth in service and number of users. Activity at Des Moines International Airport has been growing rapidly for a decade and continues to do so now that business and leisure travel have returned to pre-pandemic levels. This year, our focus will be on identifying and securing public funds to advance this regional project. Together, we will work to ensure our airport is a world-class facility poised for the future.

Implement additional diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs and services that deliver professional-level training and development to Investors and Members.

Focusing on DEI is critical for our continued growth and ability to attract and retain talent. This year, we will focus on assisting companies with DEI strategies, offering DEI trainings for Investors and Members, and implementing recommendations from the DSM 4 Equity Collective, an effort developed through Capital Crossroads aimed at ensuring a DEI lens in all community efforts. Together, we will work to ensure that DSM is a welcoming place for people of all backgrounds.

Demonstrate progress toward the Future Ready DSM 75x25 goal by increasing the number of working-age adults who have completed a post-secondary education credential aligned to industry demand.

Our ongoing talent development goal is to ensure 75% of working-age adults have post-secondary education credentials (which includes certificates, trades, associates and bachelor’s degrees) by 2025. This year, we will work with regional partners to develop a dashboard that measures apprenticeships, credentials, internships and work-based offerings, and roll out an equitable credential attainment program aligned with Future Ready Iowa. This work is critical to bolstering our region’s talent pipeline and ensuring people from all backgrounds have an opportunity to start and grow their career right here in DSM.

Enhance the vibrancy of Downtown Des Moines (DSM) through major placemaking projects.

In a connected world where people can choose to live and work anywhere, it is more important than ever to create a unique sense of place where people want to be. We will continue to work with regional partners to focus efforts on the ICON Water Trails and the Pro Iowa Soccer Stadium and Global Plaza, and other projects throughout the region. Together, we will work to push these projects forward in 2022.

Help Downtown DSM thrive, by driving more people and more workforce to our region’s Downtown.

Downtown DSM is a vibrant place for businesses, residents and visitors. We have long collectively identified that a strong Downtown is a key to a strong region. We will complete the Downtown DSM: Future Forward vision plan and action plan to identify additional ways to drive short-term economic recovery and long-term economic growth in Downtown DSM, including an action plan designed to encourage more people to be Downtown. This is one of many efforts to ensure Downtown is a place people want to be. We will continue to host Downtown events and surprise and delight pop-up activations while encouraging support of local businesses and cultural and recreational amenities. We want to create a fear of missing out — or FOMO — in Downtown DSM.

Increase support for and the number of minority-owned businesses in DSM.

Minority-owned businesses drive growth in the community, create jobs and contribute to our region’s reputation as a welcoming place. We will share more information very soon on our plans to cultivate minority-owned business growth and how Partnership Investors can be involved.

Launch a new national talent attraction campaign to position DSM as THE place for workforce.

Talent attraction and retention has long been one of the key needs we hear from Partnership Investors and Members. Our past digital marketing campaigns have led to tens of thousands of people learning more about DSM as a potential place for them to live. We will position DSM as a vibrant, welcoming place to live for people of all backgrounds from across the country and world.

Collaborate with regional partners on the development of Capital Crossroads 3.0.

The first two iterations of this regional vision plan have led to hundreds of successes over the last 10 years. The Partnership will work with regional partners to develop the next iteration of Capital Crossroads in 2022. We will need your voice, and we will need your commitment to carrying out the vision.

These priorities will be successful because of our Partnership Investors and Members. We need your involvement. Let’s make 2022 a year to remember in DSM and set up our region for continued success and momentum. Together, we will move DSM forward.

Learn more about The Partnership’s Strategic Priorities at DSMpartnership.com/calltoaction.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.

Rowena Crosbie

Rowena Crosbie is president of Tero International and 2022 board chair for the Greater Des Moines Partnership. She has a commitment to help people challenge the way they think and inspire audiences as a top-rated speaker and trainer. Rowena is also co-author of "Your Invisible Toolbox."