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Partnership Board Encourages Des Moines Public Schools to Return to Learn Under State Compliance

September 24, 2020

GREATER DES MOINES, IA (Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020) — The Greater Des Moines Partnership Board’s Executive Committee has approved a resolution calling on Des Moines Public Schools to work with local health experts to establish a safe, smart and collaborative Return to Learn plan that complies with Iowa law and allows for both in-person and virtual options for Des Moines families. The Executive Committee fully recognizes the significant impact of the COVID pandemic on public health, the challenges it has created for educational institutions and the importance of providing a safe learning environment for students, teachers and staff and the importance of creating a smart, safe and collaborative Return to Learn plan.

“Talent development is critical for our region’s continued success. It is imperative that we do everything we can to prepare students to be part of our entire region’s future workforce,” said Tom Mahoney, Chairman of the Board at ITA Group Holdings and 2020 Board Chair of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “Education knows no boundaries, and ensuring a safe and successful return to learn strategy for Des Moines Public Schools will ensure the students of Des Moines Public Schools do not fall behind other districts that have also had to quickly innovate and pivot.”

“This affects employers throughout the region as many of their employees are parents who are working to provide for their families and make sure their children are receiving a quality education,” said Fred Buie, President of Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Company and Vice Board Chair of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “The health, safety and well-being of employees is critically important to DSM employers and the community as a whole.”

“This is a short-term and long-term workforce issue, as well as an equity issue,” said Kathryn Kunert, Vice President of Economic Connections and Integration at MidAmerican Energy Company and Past Board Chair of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “Children in Des Moines Public Schools deserve the same access to education as other students are receiving, and opening up schools in compliance with state law will alleviate some of the strain on families in the district that are juggling jobs and childcare during the pandemic.”

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

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.