Governor Terry Branstad leaves today for a two-day trip to Atlanta. It’s another business prospecting venture for the governor.
“The companies we call on, on these trips, are confidential,” Branstad says.
Branstad is revealing “most” of the Atlanta-based companies he’ll visit already have operations in Iowa, so he’ll be talking with “decision-makers” about expanding in Iowa.
“I think these calls are important,” Branstad says, “and I’ve done this throughout my tenure as governor and they’ve led to some good things happening.”
About five million people live in the Atlanta metro. The typical commute for the average Atlanta worker is 13 miles — the longest in the country. A recent Texas A&M study found Atlanta drivers spend 52 hours every year, stuck in rush hour traffic.
“One of the benefits we do have in Iowa is a very short commute time and we don’t have the congestion and the cost of living that are true in a lot of other places in the country,” Branstad says.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the longest commute times in Iowa are in rural areas. The average Guthrie County worker spends 27 minutes on the drive to work. Workers in Iowa’s largest county — Polk County — have an average commute time of 19 minutes. Forty-seven of Iowa’s 99 counties have a longer commute time than Polk County.